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U.

S, Department of Justice

Report On The Investigation Into


Russian Interference In The
2016 Presidential Election
Volume I of II

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III


Submitted Pursuant to 28 CEP.. j' 6Q0.8(c)

Washington, D.C.

March 2019
U.S. Deparlment of Justice
U.S. Department of Iustice

TABLE OF CONTENTS — VOLUME I

INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME I .....

EXECUTIVE SUMM A RY TO VOLUME I

I. THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION ...


II. RUSSIAN ACTIVE MEASURES SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN .
A , Struct
ure oftheInternet Research Agency ..
B. Funding and Oversight from Concord and Prigozhin .... ... 1 6
C. The IRA Targets U.S. Elections 19
1. The IRA Ramps Up U.S. Operations As. Early As 2014 .................... ... 19
2, U.S. Operations Thraugh IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts ...
3. U.S. Operations Through Facebook..
4. U.S. Operations Through Twitter .
a. Individualized Accounts... 26
b. IRA Botnet Activities .....
5. U.S. Operations Involving Political Rallies...........................,.....,.......... ..... 29
6. Targeting and Recruitmentof U.S. Persons.. 31
7. Interactions and Contacts with the Trump Campaign..„,...„.......,.„,.„...,. ....33
a. Trump Campaign Promotion of IRA Political Materials....................
b. Contact with Trump Campaign Officials in Connection to Rallies .... ,... 35
III . R USSIAN HACIGNG AND DUMPING OPERATIONS.

A. GRU Hacking Directed at the Clintan Campaign.


GRU Units Target the Clinton Campaign
2. Intrusions into the DCCC and DNC Networks.
a. Initial Access .....
b, Implantation of Malware on DCCC and DNC Networks .....
c. Theft of Documents from DNC and DCCC Networks ...„...
B. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials .,
1. DCLeaks.
2. Guccifer 2.0...... „... 42
3, Use of WikiLeaks,
a. WikiLeaks's Expressed Opposition Toward the Clinton Campaign ...„...,.„... 44
b. WikiLeaks's First Contact with Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks,.........,....„,...,..... 45
U.S. Department of Justice

c. The GRU's Transfer of Stolen Materials to WikiLeaks ... ,.... 45


d. W i k iLealcs Statements Dissembling About the Source of Stolen
Materials .......
C. Additional GRU Cyber Operations,
1. Summer and Fall 2016 Operations Targeting Democrat-Linked Victims......„.... 49
2. Intrusions Targeting the Administration of U.S. Elections...... ......, 50
D. Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Haoked Materials,.... .....,. 5 1
I 51
a. Background .. 51
b, Contacts with the Campaign about WikiLeaks..... ...... 52
c ........ 54
d. WikiLeaks's October 7, 2016 Release of Stolen Podesta Emails.....
e . Donald Trump Jr. Interaction with WikiLeaks.. .
2. Other Potential Campaign Interest in Russian Hacked Materials.... ....... 6 I
L Henry Oknyansky (a/k/a Henry Greenberg) ................,.......,.... ....... 61
b. Campaign Efforts to Obtain Deleted Clinton Emails ...,..„..„„....„..„„....,..„„, 62
IV. RUssIAN GovERNMENT LINKs To AND CoNTAGTs WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIUN ................ 66
A. Campaign Period (September 2015 —November 8, 2016 ) ...
1. Trump Tower Moscow Project.. 67
a. Trump Tower Moscow Venture with the Crocus Group (2013-2014) ........,... 67
b. Communications with I,C. Expert Investment Company and Giorgi
Rtskhiladzc (Summer and Fall 2015) „ 69
c. Letter of Intent and Contacts to Russian Gove'rnment (Octob'er 2015-
January 2016) .. 70
i, Trump Signs the Letter of Intent on behalf of the Tr'ump Organization .... 70
ii, Post-LOI Contacts with Individuals in Russia .........,............................... 72
d. Discussions about Russia Travel by Michael Cohen or Candidate Trump
(December 2015-June 2016) .........„.„„..„................„.....,.....„,...„,........
i. Sater's Overtures to Cohen to Travel to Russia .................................
ii, Candidate Trump's Opportunities to Travel to Russia,.... ...,78
2. George Papadopoulos
a. Origins of Campaign Work...
b, Initial Russia-Related Contacts .. 82
c. March 31 Foreign Policy Team Meeting .... 85
U.S. Department of Justice

d, George Papadopoulos Learns That Russia Has "Dirt" in the Form of


Clinton Emails.
e. Russia-Related Communications With The Campaign........
f. Trump Campaign Knowledge of "Dirt" 93
g, Additional George Papadopoulos Contact...,.
3. Carter Page............. . . . . . . . . . . .

a. Background.
b. Origins of and Early Campaign Work
c. Carter Page's July 2016 Trip To Moscow ..
d. Later Campaign Work and Removal from the Campaign ...
4, Dimitri Simes and the Center for the National Interest „........., .„103
a. CNI and Dimitri Simes Connect with the Trump Campaign „......„.....„... 103
b. National Interest Hosts a Foreign Policy Speech at the Mayflower Hotel
105
c. Jeff Sessions's Post-Speech Interactions with CNI ......,...... ... 107
d. Jared Kushner's Continuing Contacts with Simes......................
5. June 9, 2016 Meeting at Trump Tower 110
a, Setting Up the June 9 Meeting. ... 110
i. Outreach to Donald Tnnnp Jr. 110
ii. Awareness of the Meeting Within the Campaign „.. ,..... ....... I 14
b. The Events of June 9, 2016, .............., 1 16
i. Arrangements for the Meeting . II6
ii. Conduct of the Meeting. 117
c. Past-June 9 Events ... 120
6. Events at the Republican National Convention, 123
Ambassador Kislyak's Encounters with Senator Sessions and J.D.
Gordon the Week of the RNC .......„„. „...................... 123
b. Change to Republican Party Platform. 124
7. Post-Convention Contacts with Kislyak ...................................,.................... 127
a, Am bassador Kislyak I nvites J.D. Gordon t o B reakfast at t h e
Ambassador's Residence .. 127
b. Senator Sess'ions's September 2016 Meeting with Ambassador Kislyak...... 127
8. Paul Manafort. 129
a. Paul Manafort's Ties to Russia and Ukraine..... ... 131
U.S. Depmtment of Justice

i. O leg Deripaska Consulting Work. 131


ii. Political Consulting Work.
iii, Konstantin Kilimnik ... 132
b. Contacts during Paul Manafort's Time with the Trump Campaign .....„....... 134
i. Paul Manafort Joins the Campaign. ....,....„„......„„„134
ii. Paul Manafort's Campaign-Period Contacts
iii, Paul Manafort's Two Campaign-Period Meetings with Konstantin
Kilimnik in the United States .. ..... .. 1 3S
. . . . .

c, Post-Resignation Activities. 141


B. Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts .... 144
1. Immediate Post-Election Activity......
a. Outreachfrom the Russian Government.. 145
b, High-Level Encouragement of Contacts thr'ough Alternative Channels ....... 146
2. K irill Dmitriev's Transition-Era Outreach to the Incoming Administration.„... 147
a. Background. 147
b, K i r li l D m i triev's P ost-Election C ontacts W it h t h e I n coming
Administration ................ 149
c. Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev Meet in the Seychelles ....„..... „. „,...„..„,..... 151
i. G eorge Nader and Erik Prince Arrange Seychelles Meet'ing with
Dmi
triev.. 151
ii. The Seychelles Meetings. 153
iii. Erik Prince "s Meeting with Steve Bannon after the Seychelles Trip.... 155
d, K irill Dmilxiev's Post-Election Contact with Rick Gerson Regarding
U.S.-Russia Relations
3. Ambassador Kislyak's Meeting with Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn in
Trump Tower Followmg the Election,. 159
4. Jared Kushner's Meeting with Sergey Gorkov., 161
5. Petr Aven's Outreach Efforts to the Transition Team ......................„,...,...,
6. Carter Page Contact with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich ........,.... 166
7. Contacts With and Through Michael T. Flynn .... ... 167
a. United Nations Vote on Israeli Settlements .. . 167
b. U.S. Sanctions Against Russia.„ ... 168
V. PROSECUTION AND DECLINATION DECISIONS ., ,174
A. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign ..
U.S. Deparlment of Justice

B. Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations .. 175

I, Section 1030 Coinputer-Intrusion Conspiracy„ 175


a. Background,........................... . . . . .. . , ., 175
b. Charging Decision As to ... 176
2. Potential Section 1030 Violation By
C. Russian Government Outreach and Contacts .............. „, 180

I, Potential Coordination; Conspiracy and Collusion............ 180


2. Potential Coordination: Foreign Agent Statutes (PARA and 18 U.S.C. g 951) . 181
a. GoverningLaw........ ,... 181
b, Application...... . . . . .

3. Campaign Finance . ..... 183


a. Overview Of Governing Law..
b. Application to June 9 Trump Tower Meeting„ 185
i, Thing-of-Value Element
ii. Willfulness
iii. Difficulties in Valuing Promised Information ... „ ... 188
c. Appli tl t Wil iL k ~ ... 188
i. ue stions Over

'ii. Willfulness ... 190


iii, Constitutional Considerations. 190
l.A l y l y 190
4. False Statements and Obstruction of the Investigation...... ... 191
a. Overview Of Governing Law... 191
b. Application to Certain Individuals „„„ ... 192
i. George Papadopoulos.
194
iii. Michael Flynn .... 194
iv. Michael Cohen. 195
a ... 196
vi.Jeff Sessions 197
vii. Others Interviewed During the Investigation...... ... 198
U,S. Department of lustice
U.S. Department of Justice

INTROD U CTION TO VOLUM E I

This report is submitted to the Attorney Gener'al pursuant to 28 C.F.R. ( 600.8(e)„which


states that, "[a]t the conclusion of the Special Counsel's work, he... shall provide the Attorney
General a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions [the Special
Counsel] reached."

The Russian government interfered in the 2016 piesidential election in sweeping and
systematic fashion. Evidence of Russian government operations began to surface in mid-2016. In
June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response resin publicly announced that
Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Releases of hacked materials — backs
that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government — began 'that same month.
Additional releases followed in July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases in
October and November.

In late July 2016, soon after WikiLeaks's first release of stolen documents, a foreign
gavernment contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy
advisor George Pnpadopoulos, Papadopoulos had suggested to a representative of that foreign
government that the Trump Campaign had received indications &om the Russian government that
it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That infomiation prompted the FBI on July
31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign
were coordinating with the Russian goveriunent in its intcrferencc activities.

That fall, two federal agencies jointly announced that the Russian government "directed
recent compromises of e-mails ftom U S persons and institutions, including US political
organizations," and, *'[t]hese thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US e'lection
process." After the eledtion, in late December 2016, the United States imyosed sanctions on Russia
for having interfered in the election, B y early 2017, several congressional committees were
examining Russia's interference in the election.

Within thc Executive Branch, these investigatory efforts ultimately led to the May 2017
appointment of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III. The order appointing the Special Counsel
authorized him to investigate "the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016
presidential elec'tion," including any links or coordination between the Russian government and
individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.

As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel's investigation established that
Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. First, a
Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J,
Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, n Russian intelligence
service conducted computer-intrusion operafions against,entities„employees, and volunteers
working an the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents, The investigation also
'identified numerous links between the Russian g overnm
ent and the Trump Campaign. Although
the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump
presidency and worked to secure that outcome, nnd that the Camynign expected it wauld benefit
U.S, Department of Justice

electorally fmm mformation stolen and. released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not
establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian
government in its election interference activities.

Below we describe the evidentiary considerations underpinning statements about the


results of our investigation and the Special Counsel's charging decisions, and we then pmvide an
overview of the two volumes of our report.

The report describes actions and events that the Special Counsel's Office found to be
supported by the evidence collected in our investigation. In some instances, the report points out
the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event. In other
instances, when substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with
conhdence, the report states that the investigation established that certain actions or events
occurred. A statement that the investigation did not establish particular' facts does not mean there
was no evidence of those facts.

In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted


a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of "collusion." In so doing,
the Office recognized that the word "collud[e]" was used in communications with the Acting
Attorn'ey General confirming certain aspects of the investigation's scope and that the term has
frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific
offense oi theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal
criminal laiv. For those reasons, the Office's focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability
was on conspiracy as defined m federal law, In connection with that analysis, we addressed the
factual question whether members of the Trump Campaign "coordinat[ed]" — a term that appears
in the appoinmtent order — with Russian election interference activities. L i k e collusion,
'"coordination" does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law. W e understood
coordination to require an agreement — tacit or express —between the Trump Campaign and the
Russian government on election interference. That requires more than the two parties taking
actions that were informed by or responsive to the other's actions or interests. We applied the term
coordination in that sense when stating in the report that the investigation did not establish that the
Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,

The report on our investigation consists of two volumes;

Volume I describes the factual results of the Special Counsel's investigation of Russia's
interference in the 2Q16 presidential election and its interactions with the Trump Campaign.
Section I describes the scope of the investigation. Sections II and III describe the principal ways
Russia interfered in thc 2016 presidential election. Section IV describes links between the Russian
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governm
ent and individuals associated udth the Trump Campaign. Section V sets forth the Special
Counsel's charging decisions.

Volume II addresses the President's actions towards the FBF s investigation into Russia's
interference in the 2016 presidential election and related matters, and his actions towards the
Special Counsel's investigation. Volume II separately states its framework and the considerations
that guided that investigation.
U.S. Department of Justice

EKEGUTIYE SUMMARY To VoLUME I

RUSSIAN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

The Internet Research Agency (IRA) carried out the earliest Russian interference
operations identified by the investigation — a social media campaign designed to provoke and
amplify political and socle discord in the United States, The IRA was based in St. PetersBurg,
Russia, and received funding fmm Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhln and companies be
conti'ulled. Pri ozhin is widel re arted to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin
• S • •

In mid-2014, the IRA sent em lo ees to the United States on an intelli ence- atherin
mission with instructions • S • •

The IRA later used social media accounts and interest groups to sow discord in the U.S.
political system through what it termed "information warfare." The campaign evolved from a
generalized program designed in 2014 and 2015 to undermine the U.S. electoral system, to a
targeted operation that by early 2016 favored candidate Trump and disparaged candidate Clinton,
The IRA's operation also included the purchase of political advertisements on social media in the
names of U.S. persons and entities, as well as the staging af political rallies inside the United
States, To organize those rallies, IRA employees posed as U,S, grassraots entities and persons and
made contact with Trump supporters and Trump Campaign officials in the United States. The
investigation did not identify evidence that any U,S, persons conspired or coordinated with the
IRA. Section II of this report details the Office's investigation of the Russian social media
campaign.

RUSSIAN HACKING OPERATIONS

At the same time tbut the IRA operation began to focus on supporthrg candidate Trump in
early 2016, the Russian government, employed a second form of interference: cyber intrusions
(hacking) and releases af hacked materials damaging to the Clintan Campaign. The Russian
intelligence service known as the Main Intelligence Directorate af the General Staff of the Russian
Army (GRU) carried aut these operations.

In March 2016, the GRU began hacking the email acrounts of Clinton Campaign
volunteers and employees, including campaign chairman John Podesta. In April 2016, the GRU
hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic' Congressional Campaign Committee
(DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Thc GRU stole hundreds of thousands
of documents from the compromised email accounts and networks. Amund the time that the DNC
announced in mid-June 2016 the Russian government's role in hacking its network, the GRU
began disseminating stolen materials through the fictitious online personas "DCLeaks" and
"Guceifer 2.0." The GRU later released additional materials through the organization WikiLeaks.
U,S. Department of Justice

The presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump (" Trump Campaign" or "Campaign" )


showed interest in WikiLeaks's releases of documents and welcomed their otential to damage
candidate Clinton. Beghming in June 2016, .
' a ' ' forecast to
senior Campaign officials that WikiLeaks woul r elease information .damaging to candidate
Clinton. WikiLeaks's first release came in July 2016. Around the same time, candidate Trump
announced that he hoped Russia would recover emails described as missing &om a private server
used b Clinton when she was Secret o f State he later said that he was s cskin sarcasticall
• • •

WikiLeaks began releasing


Podesta's stolen emai s on October 7, 2016, less one hour after a U.S. media outlet released
video considered damaging to candidate Trump. Section III of this Report details the Office's
investigation into the Russian hacking operations, as well as other efforts by Trump Campaign
supporters to obtain Clinton-related emails.

RUSSIAN CONTACTS WITH THE CAMPAIGN

The social media campaign and the ORU hacking operations coincided with a series of
contacts betw'een Trump Campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government.
The Office investigated whether those contacts reflected or resulted in the Campaign conspiring
or coordinating with Russia in its 'election-interference activities. A lthough the investigation
established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and
worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from
information stolen and released thmugh Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that
embers of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its
election interference activities.

The Russian contacts consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the


Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign
officiids and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking
improved U.S.-Russian relations. Section IV of this Report details the contacts between Russia
and the Trump Campaign during the campaign and transition periods, the most salient of which
are summarized below in chronological order.

2015. Some of the earliest contacts were made in connection with a Trump Organization
real-estate project in Russia. known as Trump Tower Moscow. Candidate Trump signed a Letter
of Intent for Trump Tower Moscmv by November 2015., and in January 2016 Trump Organization
executive Michael Cohen emailed and spoke about the project with the office of Russian
governm
ent p ress secretary Dmitry Peskov. The Trump Organization pursued the project through
at least June,2016, including by considering travel to Russia by Cohen and candidate Trump.

Spring 2016; Campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos made early contact
with Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor who had connections to Russia and traveled to
Moscow in April 2016. I mmediately upon his return to London from that trip, Mifsud told
Papadopoulos that the Russian government had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the fc rm of thousands
U.S. Department of Justice

of emails. One week later, in the first week of May 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a
representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications fi'om
the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of
information damaging to candidate Clinton. Throughout that period of time and for several months
thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals ta arrange a meeting
between the Campaign and the Russian government. No meeting took place.

Srrrrtirter 2016. Russian outreach ta the Trump Campaign continued into the summer of
2016, as candidate Trump was becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for President. On
June 9, 2016, for example, a Russian lawyer met with senior Trump Campaign officials Donald
Trump Jr,, Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafart to deliver what the email
proposing the meeting had described as "official documents and information that would
incriminate Hillary." T h e materials were offered to Trump Jr. as "part of Russia and its
government's support for Mr. Trump." T he written communications setting up the meeting
showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information f'rom Russia that could assist
candidate Trump's electoral prospects, but the Russian lawyer's presentation did not provide such
1llformattan.
Days after the June 9 meeting, on June 14, 2016, a cybersecurity firm and the DNC
announced that Russian government hackers had infiltrated the DNC and obtairied access to
opposition research on candidate Trump, among other documents.

In July 2016, Campaign foreign policy advisar Carter Page traveled in his persanal capacity
to Moscow andgave the keynote address atthe New Economic School, Page had lived and worked
in Russia between 2003 and 2007. After returningto the United States, Page became acquainted
with at least two Russian intelligence officers, one of' whom was later charged in 2015 with
conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of Russia. Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow and his
advocacy for pra-Russian foreign policy drew media attention. The Campaign then distanced itself
from Pageand, by late September 2016, removed him fiom the Campaign.

July 2016 was also the month WikiLeaks first i classed emails stolen by the GRU &om the
DNC. On July 22, 2016, WildLeaks posted thousands af internal DNC documents revealing
information about the Clinton Campaign. W ithin days, there was public reporting that U.S.
intelligence agencies had "'high confidence" that the Russian government was behind the theft af
emails and documents fram the DNC. And within a week of the release, a foreign government
informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos and his statement that the
Russian gavernment could assist the Trump Campaign. On July 31, 2016, based on the foreign
gaveriunent reporting, the FBI opened an investigation into potential coordination between the
Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.

Separately, on August 2, 2016, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met in New York
City with his long-time business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI assesses to have ties
to Russian intelligence, Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for
Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel's Oflice was a "backdoor" way for
Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine,' both men believed the plan wauld' require candidate
Trump's assent to succeed (were he to be elected President). They also discussed the status af the
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II

Trump Campaign and Manafort's strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states.
Months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data to be shared with Kilimnik„
and the sharing continued for some period of time after their August meeting.

Enll 2016. On October 7, 2016, the media. released video of candidate Trump speaking in
graphic terms about women years earlier, which was considered damaging to his candidacy. Less
than an hour later, WikiLeaks made its second release: thousands of John Podesta's emails that
had been stolen by the GRU in late March 2016, The FBI and other U.S. government institutions
were at the time continuing their investigation of suspected Russian government efforts to interfere
in the presidential election. That same day, October 7, the Department of Homeland Security and
the Office of the Direotor of National Intelligence issued a joint public statement "that the Russian
Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails Irom US persons and institutions„
including from US political organizations." Those "thefts" and the "disclosures" of the hacked
materials through online platforms such as WikiLeaks, the statement continued, "are intended to
interfere with the US election process."

Post-2016 Election. Im mediately after the November 8 election, Russian govermnent


officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new
administration. The most senior levels of the Russian government encouraged these efforts. The
Russian Embassy made co~tact hours after the election to congratulate the President-Elect and to
arrange a call with President Putin. Several Russian businessmen picked up the effort fr'om there.

Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive officer of Russia's sovdreign wealth fund, was among
the Russians who tiied to make contact with the incoming administration. In early December, a
business associate steered Dmitriev to Erik Prince, a supporter of the Trump Campaign and an
associate of senior Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Dmitriev and Prince later met face-to-face in
January 2017 in the Seychelles and discussed U,S.-Russia relations, During the same period,
another business associate introduced Dmitfiev to a friend of Jared Kushner who had not served
on the Campaign or the Transition Team, Dmitriev and Kushner's friend collaborated on a short
written reconcihation plan for the Umted States and Russia, which Dminiev implied had been
cleared through Putin, The friend gave that proposal to Kushner before the inauguration, and
Kushner later gave copies to Bannon and incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,

On December 29, 2016, then-President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for having
interfered in the elecnon. Incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn called Russian
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and asked Russia not to escalate the situation in response to, the
sanctions, The following day, Putin announced that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in
response to the sanctions at that time. Hours later, President-Elect Trump tweeted, "Great move
on delay (by V, Putin)." The next day, on December 31, 2016, Kislyak called Flynn and told him
the request had been received at the highest levels and Russia had chosen not to retaliate as a result
of Flynn's request.

On January 6, 20i7, members of the intelligence communitybriefed President Elect Trump


on a joint assessment — drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligenoe Agency, FBI, and
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II

National Security Agency — that concluded with high confidence that Russia had intervened in the
e lection through a variety of ineans to assist Trump's candidacy and harm Clinton's. A
declassified versian of the assessment was publicly released that same day.

Between mid-Januaiy 2017 and early February 2017, three congressional committees —the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (SSCI), and the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) — announced that they would
conduct inquiries, or had already been conducting inquiries, into Russian interference in the
election. Then-FBI Director James Comey later confirmed to Congress the existence of the FBI's
investigation into Russian interference that had begun before the election. On March 20, 2017„ in
open-session testimony before HPSCI, Comey stated:

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part
of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian govei'nment's efforts
ta interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the
nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump oarnpaign and
the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the
campaign and Russia's efforts... . A s with any counterintelligence investigation,
this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes w'ere committed.

The investigation caiitinucd under then-Director Comey for the next seven weeks until May 9,
2017, when President Trump fired Camey as FBI Director — an action which is analyzed in
Volume II of the report.

On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed the Special Counsel
and authorized him to conduct the investigation that Comey had confirmed in his congressional
testimony, as well as matters arising directly from the investigation, and any other matters within
the scope of 28 C.F,R. g 600A(a), which generally covers efforts to interfere with or obstruct the
investigation.

President Trump reacted negatively to the Special Counsel's appointment. He told advisor's
that it was the end of his presidency, sought to have Attorney General Jefferson (JeQ) Sessions
unreouse from the Russia investigation and to have the Special Counsel removed, and engaged in
efforts to curtail the Special Counsel's investigation and prevent the disclosure of evidence to it,
including through public and private contacts with potential witnesses. Those and related actions
are described and analyzed m Volume II of the report.

THK SPECIAL COUNSELORS CHARGING DECISIONS

In reaching the charging decisions described in Volume I of the r'eport, the Office
determined whether the conduct it found amounted to a violation af federal criminal law
chargeable under the Principles of Federal Prosecution, See Justice Manual g 9-27.000 er seq.
(2018)., Thc standard set forth in the Justice Manual ls whether the conduct constitutes a crime; if
so, whether admissible evidence would pmbably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction;
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and whether prosecution would serve a substantial federal interest that could not be adequately
served by prosecution elsewhere or through non-criminal alternatives. See Justice Manual $ 9-
27.220.

Section V of the rcport provides detailed explanations of the Office's charging decisions,
which contain three main components.

First„ the Office determined that Russia's two principal interference operations in 'the 2016
U. S, presidential election — the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations-
violated U.S. criminal law. Many of the individuals and entities involved in the social media
campaign have been charged with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by
undermining through deceptive acts the work of federal agencies charged with regulating foreign
influence in U.S. elections, as well as related counts of identity theft. See United States v. Internst
Researcit Agency, ei ul., No. lg-cr-32 (D.D.C,), Separately, Russian intelligence offic'ers who
carried out the hacking into Democratic Party computers and the personal email accounts of
individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign conspired to violate, among other federal laws,
the federal computer-intrusion statute, and the have been so char ed. Sss United Stores v.
Jfe. k sho cia/, No. 18-cr-215 D . C , , • • •

Second, while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to
the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was
not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things„ the evidence was not, sufficient to
charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian
principal, And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meetmg and WikiLeaks's releases of hacked
materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence
was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with
representatives of the Russian gover nmenttointeifere in the 2016 election.
Third, the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump
Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated
individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian
election interference. The Office charged some of those lies as violations of the federal false-
statements statute. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about
his interactions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the transition period. G e orge
Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor dming the campaign period, pleaded guilty to lying to
investigators about, ilirer alia, the nature and timing of his interactions with Joseph Mifsud, the
pmfessor who told Papadopculos that the Russians had dirt on candidate Clinton in the form of
thousands of emails. Former Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen leaded il to
makin false statements to Con ress about the Trum Moscow r o'ect.

And in February 2019, the U.S, Distnct Court for e Dishict o Columbia foun that
U.S. Department of Justice

Manafort lied to the Office and the grand jury conce


rninghisin
teractions and communications
with Konstantin Kilimnik about Trump Campaign polling data and a peace plan for Ukraine.

The Office investigated several other events that have been publicly reported to involve
potential Russia-related contacts. For example, the investigation established that interactions
between Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Trump Campaign officials both at the candidate's April
2016 foreign policy speech in Washington, D.C„and during the week of the Republioan National
Convention were brief, public, and non-substantive. And the investigation did not establish that
one Campaign official's efforts to dilute a portion of the Republican Party platform on providing
a ssistance to Ukraine were undertaken at the behest of candidate Trump or Russia. T h e
investigation also did not establish that a meeting between Kislyak and Sessions in September
2016 at Sessions's Senate office included any more than a passing mention of the presidential
cairip sigil.

The investigation did not always yield admissible, information or testimony, or a complete
picture of the activities undertaken by subjects of the investigation. Some individuals invoked
their Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination and were not, in the Office's
judgment, appropriate candidates for grants of immunity. The Office limited its pursuit of other
witnesses and information — such as information known to attorneys or individuals claiming to be
members of the media — in light of mternal Department of Justice policies. See, e.g., Justice
Manual 5f 9-13 400, 13 410. Some of the information obtained via court process, moreover, was
presumptively covered by legal privilege and was screened from investigators by a filter (or
"taint") team. Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes
pmvided information that was false or incomplete, leading to some of the false-statements charges
described above. And the Office faced practical limits on its ability to access relevant evidence as
well — numerous wl'tnesses and subjects lived abroad, and documents were held outside'the United
States.

Further, the Office learned that some of the individuals we' interviewed or whose conduct
we investigated — includ'ing some associated with the Trump Campaign~ e l ated relevant
communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature
encryption oi that do not pmvide for long-tenn retention of data or communications records. In
such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements thmugh comparison to
contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared
inconsisterit with other known facts.

Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office
believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gapa,
the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional
light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.

10
U.S. Department of Justice

I. THE SPKcIAL COUivsEL'sINVKsTIGATIotv

On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein — then serving as Acting
Attorney General for the Russia investigation following the recusal of former Attorney General
Jeff Sessions on March 2, 2016 — appointed the Special Counsel "to investigate Russian
interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters." Office of the Deputy Att'y
Gen., Order No. 3915-2017, Appotntinent of Sperdal Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference
with the 20I 6 Presidential Election and Related Matters, May 17, 2017) (" Appointment Order' ),
Relying on "the authority vested" in the Acting Attorney General, "including 28 U.S.C. 8 509,
510, and 515," the Acting Attorney General ordered the appointment of a Special Counsel "in
order to discharge [the Acting Attorney General's] responsibility to provide supervision and
management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough invesugation of the
Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election." Appointment Order
(introduction). "The Special Counsel," the Order stated, "is authorized to ronduct the investigation
confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017," including:

(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals
associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. tj 600.4(a).

Appointment Order $ (b), Section 600.4 affords the Special Counsel "the authority to investigate
and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the
Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence,
and intimidation of witnesses." 28 C.F.R. f 600,4(a). The authority to investigate "any matters
that arose... directly from the investigation," Appointment Order $ (b)(ii), covers similar crimes
that may have occurred during the course of the FBI's confirmed investigation before the Special
Counsel's appohitment. "If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate," the
Order further provided, "the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from
the investigation of these matters." Id, g(c). Finally, the Acting Attorney General made applicable
"Sections 600.4 through 600.10 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations," Id, $ (d).

The Acting Attorney General further clarified the scope of the Special Counsel's
investigatory authority in two subsequent memoranda. A memorandum dated August 2, 2017,
'explained that the Appointment Order had been "worded categorically in order to permit its public
release without confirming specific investigations involving specific. individuals." I t t h en
,confirmed that the Special Counsel had been authorized since his appointment to investigate
allegations that three Trump campaign of fi cial — Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and George
Papadopoulos —"committed a rrime or crimes by colluding with Russian government offickds
with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."
The memorandum also confirmed the Special Counsel's authority to investigate certain other
matters, including two additional sets of allegations involving Manafort (crimes arising from
payments he received from the Ukrainian government and crimes arising from his receipt of loans

11
U.S. Department of Justice

from a bank whose CEO was then seeking a position in the Trump Administration); allegations
that Papadopoulos committed a crime or crimes by acting as an unregistered agent of the Israeli
government; and four sets of allegations involving Michael Flynn, the former National Security
Advisor to President Trump.

On October 20, 2017, the Acting Attorney General confirmed in a memorandum the
Special Counsel's investigative authority as to ~ eral individuals and entities. First, "as part of a
fidl and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016
presidential election," the Special Counsel was authorized to investigate "the pertinent activities
rM;.w.ice n,avoca ~.„ x g. s~.n.,
• "
"Confirmation of the authorization to investigate such individuals," the memorandum
stressed, "does not suggest that the Spe~ial Counsel has made a determination that any of them has
committed a crime," Second, with respect to Michael Cohen, the memorandum recognized the
Special Counsel's authority to investigate "leads relate[d] to Cohen's establishment and use of
Essential Consultants LLC to, inter alia, receive funds &om Russian-backed entities." Third, the
memorandum memorialized the Special Counsel's authority to investigate individuals and entities
who were possibly engaged in "jointly undertaken activity" with existing subjects of the
investigation, including Paul Manafort. Finally, the meinorandum described an FBI investigation
opened before the Special Counsel's appointment into "allegations that [then-Attorney General
Jeff Sessions] made false statements to the United States Senate[,]" and confirmed the Special
Counsel's authority to investigate that matter.

The Special Counsel structured the investigation in view of his power and authority "to
exercise all investigative and pmsecutorial functions of any United States Attorney." 28 C..F,R.
g 600.6. Like a U.S. Attorney's Office, the Special Counsel's Office considered a range of
classified and unclassified information available to the FBI in the course of the Office's Russia
investigation, and the Office structured that work around evidence for possible use in prosecutions
of federal crhnes (assuming that one or more cr'imes were identified that warranted prosecution).
There was substantial evidence immediately available to the Special Counsel at the inception of
the investigation in May 2017 because the FBI had, by that time, already investigated Russian
election interference for nearly 10 months. The Special Counsel's Office exercised its judgment
regarding what to investigate and did not, for instance, investigate every public report of a contact
between the Tmmp Campaign and Russian-affiliated mdividuals and entities.

The Office has concluded its investigation into links and coordination between the Russian
government and individuals associated with the Truinp Campaign. Certain proceedings associated
with the Office's work remain ongoing. After consultation with the Office of the Deputy Att orney
General, the Office has transferred responsibility for those remaining issues to other components
of the Department of Justice and FBI. Appendix D lists those transfers.

Two district courts confirmed the breadth of the Special Counsel's authority to investigate
Russia election interference and links andtor coordination with the Trump Campaign. See Urdted
States v. JVanafort, 312 F. Supp. 3d 60„79-83 (D.D.C. 2018); United Statesv. Manafort, 321 F.
Supp. 3d 640, 6SO-65S (E.D. Va. 2018). In the course of conducting that investigation, the Office
periodically identified evidence of potential criminal activity that was outside the scope of the
Special Counsel's authority established by the Acting Attorney General. After consultation with
U.S, Department of Justice

the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office referred that evidence to appropriate law
enforcement authorities, principally other components of the Department of Justice and to the FBI.
Appendix D summarizes those referrals,

To carry out the investigation and prosecution of the matters assigned to him, the Special
Counsel assembled a team that at its high point included 19 attomcys — five of whom joined the
Office from private practice and 14 on detail or assigned &om other D epartment
of Justice
components, These auorneys were assisted by a filter teain of Department lawyers and FBI
personnel who screened materials obtained via comt process for privileged information before
turning those materials over to investigators; a support staff of three paralegals on detail fiom the
Department's Antitrust Division; and an administrative staff of nine responsible for budget,
finance, purchasing, human resources, records, facilities, security, information technology, and
administrative support. The Special Counsel attorneys and support staff were co-located with and
worked alongside approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, a
paralegal, and professional staff assigned by the FBI to assist the Special Counsel's investigation.
Those "assigned" FBI employees remained under FBI supervision at all times; the matters on
which they assisted were supervised by the Special Counsel.'

During its investigation the Office issued more than 2,800 subpoenas under the auspices of
a grand jury sittmg in the District of Columbia; executed nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants;
obtained more tlmn 230 orders for communications i'ecords under 18 U. S,C. $ 2703(d); obtained
almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers; made 13 requests. to foreign governments
pursuant to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties; and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses,
including almost 80 before a grand jury,

From its inception, the OAice recognized that its investigation could identify foreign
intelligence and oounterintelligence information relevant to the FBI's broader national security
mission. FBI personnel who assisted the Office established procedures to identify and convey
such information to the FBI. The FBI's Counterintelligence Division met vdth the Office regularly
for that purpose for most of the OAlce's tenure, For more than the past year, the FBI also
embedded personnel at the Office who did not work on the Special Counsel's investigation, but
whose purpose was to review the results of the investigation and to send — in writing — summaries
of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information to FBIHQ and FBI Field OAices,
Those communications and other correspondence between the OfAce,and the FBI contain
information derived from the investigation, not all of which is contained in this Volume, This
Volume is a summary, It contains, m the OAice's judgment, that information necessary to account
for the Special Counseps prosecution and declination decisions and to describe the invesfq;ation's
m ainfactualresults.

FBI personnel assigned to the Sperial Counsel's Office were required m adhere to all applicable
federal law and aB Department and FBI regulations, guidelines, and policies. An FBI attorney worked on
FBI-related matters for the Office, such «s FBI compliance with all FBI policies and proc'edures, including
the FBI's Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG). That FBI attorney worked under FBI
legal supervision, not the Special Counsel's supervision.

13
U.S, Department of Justice

II. RUSSIAN "AcrIVK MEASURES" SocIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

The first form of Russian election influence came principally Ixom the Internet Research
Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Ycvgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and
companies he controlled, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord
Catering (collectively "Concord" ).t The IRA conducted social media operations targeted at large
U,S, audiences with the goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system.' These operations
constituted "active measures" (atcrrtattme MeponpttttTtrst), a term that typically refers to operations
conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs.s

The IRA and its employees began operations targeting the United States as early as 2014.
Using fictitious U.S. personas, IRA employees operated social media accounts and group pages
designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and accounts, which addressed divisive U.S.
political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists. Over time, these
social media accounts became a means to reach large U. S, audiences. IRA employees travelled to
the United States in mid-2014 on an intelligence-gathering mission to,obtain information and
photographs for use in their social media posts.

IRA employees posted demgatory information about a number of candidates in the 2016
U.S. presidential election. By carly to mid-2016, IRA operations included supporting the Trump
Campaign and disparaging candidate Hillary Clinton. The IRA made various expenditures to carry
eut those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media m the names of U.S.
persons and entities, Some IRA employees, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their
Russian association, communicated elechonieally with individuals associated with the Trump
Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities, including the
staging of political rallies. T h e investigation did not identify evidence that any U,S. persons
knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA's interference operation,

By the end of the 2016 U,S, election, the IRA had the ability to reach millions of U.S.
persons thxough their social media accounts. Multiple IRA-contmlled Facebook groups and

s The Office is aware of reports that other Russian entities engaged in similai active measures
operations targeting the United States. Some evidence collected by the Office coxroboratcs those reports,
and the Office has shared that evidence with other offices in the Department of Justice and FBI.
• • s
sss also SM-22 0634, serial 44 (analysis), The FBI case numbex mt e x e, an other FBI case numbers
identified in the report, should bc treated as law cnforc'ement sensitive given the context. The report contains
additional law enfoxecmcnt sensitive information.
t As discussed in Part V below, the active measures investigation has resulted in criminal charges
against 13 individual Russian nationals and three Russian entities, principally for conspiracy to dc&aud the
United States, in violation of 18 U S C. $ 371, gee Volume I, Section V A, trtira; Indicttncnt, Unttsd States
v. Internet Research Agency, et al, I: 18-rx-32 (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2018), Doc, I ("Jntsrnet Jtesearch Agency
Indictment"'),
JntsrnetResearch 2 enc Indictment 52 ,54, 55a 56 74 •
' • • •

14
U.S. Department of Justice

Instagram accounts had hundreds of thousands of U,S, participants. I RA-controlled Twitter


accounts separately had tens of thousands of followers, including multiple U.S. political figures
who retweeted IRA-created content. In November 2017, a Facebook representative testified that
Facebook had identified 470 IRA-controlled Facebook accounts that collectively made 80,000
posts between January 2015 and August 2017. Facebook estimated the IRA reached as many as
126 million persons through its Facebook accounts s In January 2018, Twitter announced that it
had identified 3,814 IRA-controlled Twitter accounts and notified aplnoidmately 1.4 million
people Twitter believed may have been in contact with an IRA-controlled account."

A. Structureof the Internet Research Agency

• e • s • • s

I • • •

T he or anization u i ck l re w . • e • •

• • •

The rowih of the or 'zation also led to a more detailed or anizational structure.
• • • •

s Social Media Inf/usncs ia the 20/6 US. E/ection, Hearing Before the Senate Ss/ect CasimNes
an Intelggencs, 115th Cong. 13 (11/U17) (testimony of Colin Stretch, General Counsel of Facebook) (" We
estimate that roughly 29 million people were served content in their News Feeds directly from the IRA's
80,000 posts over the two years. Posts from these Pages were also shared, liked, and followed by people on
Facebook„and, as a result, three times more people may have been exposed to a story that originated from
the Russian operation. Our best estimate is that approximately 126 million people may have been served
content Gom a Page associated with the IRA at some point dming the two-year per'iod."). The Facebook
representative also testified that Facebook had identified 170 Instagram accounts that posted approximately
120,000 pieces of content during that time. Faceboek did not offer an estimate of the audience reached via
Instag ram.
' Twitter, Update on Twitter's Review of the 2016 Ug Election (Jan. 31, 2018).
' See SM-2230634, serial 92.
os es •

e e • •

" See SM-2230634, serial 86 • • •

n s • I •
U.S. Deyariment of Justice
//

• • 4 •

Two individuals headed the IRA" s mana ement: its eneral director Mikhail B strov and
its executive director M ikhail Burchik.

• • • s

As earl asthes rin o f 2 014 theIRAbe. unto hide its fundin and activities.
• • •

The IRA's U.S. o erations are art of a lar er set of interlockin o erations known as
Pro ect Lakhta ' • • • • •

• • • •

B. Funding and Oversight.from Concord and Prigozhin

Until at least February 2018, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two Concord comPanies
funded the IRA. Prigozhin is a wealthy Russian businessman who served as the head of Concord.

13

" See, e.g., SM-2230634, serials 9, 113 4 1 80 • • • •

• • •

See SM-2230634, serr


13 dr 204.
• • • 0 •

• •
U.S. Department of Justice

• • • • •

Pri o2: inwas sanctioned b e U . S. Trees De a r tmentin De~ember2016,



• 2 •

2 • • •

Numerous me ia
sour'ces have reported on Prtgozhin's tses to Putin, and the two ave appeared together in public
photographs.22

• • •

• • 2 •

• •

• • •

• e • 2

• • • • •

U.S, Tieasury Department, "Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities in Connection with
Russia's Occupation of Crimea and the Conflict in Ukraine" (Dec. 20, 20163.
20 •

21 • • • • •

'2 See, e.g., Neil MacFarquhar, Yevgeny Prigozi2in, Itrseeian Oligarch Indicted hy U8., Is Known
as "Puiin's Cook", New York'Thnes.(Feb. 16,2018J.
23 • • • • •

• 2 a • •
25 • •

see also SM-


2230634, sena 113

17
U.S. Department of Justice
//

• • •

• •

• • •

• a s•

• • • • •

• • •

z6 ~ • • •

• • •

"T he term "troll" refers to internet users — in this context, paid operatives — who post inflammatory
or otherwise disruptive content on social media or other websites.
U.S. Department of Justice

IRA em lo ees were aware that Pri ozhin was involved in the IRA's U,S. o ' erations
• • •

• a •
In May
2016, IRA emp oyees, claiming to be U.S. soctal activists and administrators o Facebook groups,
recruited U.S. Persons to hold signs (including one in front of the White House) that read *'Happy
55thBirthda DearBoss "asanhoma etc Pri ozhin whose 55thbirthda wason June I 2016 .s'
• • •

• '

C. The IRA Targets U.S. Elections

1. The IRA Ram s U U .S. 0 erations As Earl As 2014

The IRA's U.S. operations sought to influence public opinion through online media and
fonuns, By the spring of 2014, the IRA began to consolidate U,S. opei'ations within a sin le
eneral de artment, known internall a s the "Translator"' e e s o t n t d e artment.
• • •

subdivt e e Tra ns ator Department into drfferent


responsibilihes, ranging from operations on different social media platforms to analytics to

See SM-2230634,
serials 131 & 204.
'~ See SM-2230634, serial 156.
' Internet Jteseerc/r Agency Indictment P 12 b ' see n/so 5/26/16 Farebook Messages, ID
1479936895656747 (United Muslims of America) k - e
ss • • • •

see a so SM-2230634, serial 189. • • • •


U.S. Department of Justice

graphics and IT.


• • a •

• • •

• • e•

33 • a •
See SM-2230634, serial 205.
'~ See SM-2230634, serial 204 • a • •

20
U.S. Department of Justice

• • •

• a s

• • • •

IRA employees also traveled to the United States on intelligence-gathering missions. In


June 2014, four IRA employees applied to the U.S. Department of State to enter the United States,
while lying about the purpose of their trip and claiming to be four friends who had met at a party. '
Ultimately, two IRA employees — Anna Bogacheva and Aleksandra Krylova — rece'ived visas and
entered the United States on June 4, 2014.

Prior to travelin l ova and Bo acheva corn iled itineraries and instructions for the tri
• • • •

• a • • •

• a •
• a • •

37 • a •
s' See SM-2230634 serials 150 k 172 • • •

39 • • • •

21
U.S. Deparlment of Justice
//

• • •

• • •

2. U. S. O erations Throu h IRA-Controlled SocialMedia Accounts

Dozens of IRA employees were responsible for operating accounts and personas on
different U,S. social media platforms, The IRA refened to employees assigned to operate the
social media accounts as "specialists.'~ S tarting as early as 2014, the IRA's U,S. operations
included social media specialists focusing on Facebook, You Tube,, and Twitter.4s The IRA later
added specialists who operated on Tumblr and Instagram accounts.~

Initially, the IRA created social media accounts that pretended to be the personal accounts
of U.S. persons, ' B y early 2015, the IRA began to create larger social media groups or public
social media pages that claimed (falsely) to be affiliated with U,S. political and grassroots
organizations. In certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S. organizations.
For example, one IRA-controlled Twitter account, @TEN GOP, purported to be connected to the
Tennessee Republican Party. M o r e commonly, the IRA created accounts in the names of
fictitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts to pose as anti-
immigration groups, Tea Parly activists, Black Lives Matter protestors, and other U.S. social and
political activists.

The IRA closel monitored the activit o f its social media accounts,
• • 9 e

• • • • •

40 • • e •

41 , • • • • •

4r .
• • o•

43 • • •

i4 See, e , SM-2230634, serial 179 • • e• •

"' See, e.g., Facebook ID 100011390466802 (Alex Anderson)', Facebook ID 100009626173204


(Andrea Hansen), Facebook ID 100009728618427 (Gary Williams); Facebook ID 100013640043337
(Lakisba Richardson).
The account claimed to be the "Unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans" and made posts
that appeared to be endorsements of the state political party. See, e.g,, ®TEN GOP, 4/3/16 Tweet
(" Tennessee GOP backs @realDonaldTrump pedod /hnskeAmericagreatagain t/tngop@ennessee //gop").
U.S. Departtnent of Justice
//

• • •

• • •

a • • a

By February 2016, internal IRA documents referred to su ort for the Trump Campaign
and opposition to candidate Ciinton.ss For exam Ie, directions to IRA
o erators
"Main idea: Use any opportuni t o critimze Hill C ' n t on and the rest exce t
Sanders and Trum - we su o rt them ."sc

The focus on the U.S. presidential campaign continued throughout 2016. In g~g 2016
internal g @g~ reviewing the IRA-contmlled Faceboolc group ' *Secured Borders," the

• • •

'sSee, e.g,, SM-2230634 serial 131 •


4 The IRA posted content about the Clinton candidacy before Clinton ofgcially announced her'
presidential campaign. IRA-controlled social media accounts criticized Clinton's record as Secret of
State and romoted various criti ues of her candldac . The IRA also used other techni ues.
• • • •

ee SM-2230634, aerie 70.


50 • • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

author criticized the "Iower number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton" and reminded
* '
the Facehook specialist "it is imperative to intensify ctiticizing Hillary Clinton.'

IRA employees also acknowled ed that their work focused on influencin t h e U.S.
residential election. • •

• • • •

3, U.S. 0 erations Throu h Facebook

Man IRA o erations used Facebook accounts created and o crated b its s ecialists.
• • • •

• • o

• • •

IRA Facebook groups active


during e 0 1 6 campaign covered a range o political tssues and included purported conservative

• a •

• • •

• •

• a e •
U.S. Department of Justice

groups (with names such as "Being Patriotic," "Stop All Immigrants," "Secured Borders," and
"Tea Party News" ), purported Black social justice groups (" Black Matters," "Blacktivist," and
"Don't Shoot Us"),, LGBTQ groups ("LGBT United" ), and religious groups (" United Muslims of
America" ).

Throughout 2016, IRA accounts published an increasing number of materials supporting


the Trump Campaign and opposing the Clinton Campaign. Fo'r example, on May 31, 2016, the
operational accdunt "Matt Sklber" began to privately message dozens of pro-Trump Facehook
groups asking them to help plan a "pro-Trump rally near Trump Tower,"

To reach larger U.S. audiences„ the IRA purchased advertisements from Facebook that
promoted the IRA groups on the newsfeeds of U.S. audience members, According to Facebook,
the IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements, and the expenditures totaled approximately
100i000 ss

During the U.S. presidential campaign, many IRA-purchased advertisements explicitly


supported or opposed a presidential candidate or promoted U.S. rallies organized by the IRA
(discussed below). A s early as March 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements that overtly
opposed thd Clinton Campaign. For example, on March 18, 2016, the IRA purchased an
advertisement depicting candidate Clinton and a caption that read in part, "If one day God lets
this liar enter the White House as a president — that day would be a real national tragedy,"s7
Similarly, on April 6, 2016, the IRA purchased advertisements for its account "Black Matters"
calling for a "flashmob" of U.S. persons to "take a photo with 8HillaryClintonporprison2016 or
I/nohillary2016."ss I R A-purchased advertisements featuring Clinton were, with very few
exceptions, negative,

IRA-purchased adverbsements referencing candidate Trump largely supported his


campaign. The flrst known IRA advertisement explicitly endorsing the Trump Campaign was
purchased on April 19, 2016. The IRA bought an advertisement for its Instagram account "Tea
Party News" asking U.S. persons to help them '*make a patriotic team of young Trump supporters"
by uploading photos with the hashtag "gKIDS4TRUMP." c I n subsequent months, the IRA
purchased dozens of advertisements supporting the Trump Campaign, predominantly tlirough the
Facebook groups "Being Pahiotic," "Stop All Invaders," and "Secured Borders."

" 5 /31/16 Fscebook Message, ID 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber) to ID


5/3 I/16 Facebook Message, ID 100009922908461 (Matt Ski er to ID

Social Media Irtfiaence tn the 2016 IIS. Elect/art, IIem:ing Before the Serrate Select Committee
on Irttelligetrce„115th Cong. 13 (11/I/17) (testimony of Colin Stretch, General Counsel of Facebook).
s 3/18/16 Faeebook Advertisement ID 6045505152575.
+ 4/6/16 Fscebook Advertisement ID 60437402253,19.
ssSee SM-2230634, serial 213 (documenflng politically-oriented advertisements from the larger
set prordded by Facebook).
w 4/19/I 6 Facebook Advertisement ID 6045151094235.
U.S. Department of Justice

Collectively, the IRA's social media accounts reached tens of millions of U.S. persons.
Individual IRA social media accounts attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. For example,
at the time they were deactivated by Facebook in mid-2017„ the IRA *s "United Muslims of
America"Facebook group had over 300„000 fogowers, the "Don't Shoot Us" Facebook group had
over 250,000 followers, the "Being Patriotic' * Facebook group had over 200,000 followers„and
the "Secured Borders" Facebook Stoup had over 130,000 followers,m According to Facebook, in
total the IRA-controlled accounts made over 80,000 posts before their deactivation in August 2017,
and these posts reached at least 29 million U.S persons and "may have reached an estimated 126
million people."m

4. U. S. 0 erations Throu T w i t ter

A number of IRA em lo ees assi ed to the Translator De artment served as Twitter


s ecialists. • • • •

The IRA s Twitter operations mvolved two strata ies. First IRA s eciahsts o crated
certain Twitter accounts to create individual U.S. ersonas • • •

Separately, the IRA operated a network of automated Twitter accounts


common y referred to as a bot network) that enabled the IRA to amplify existing content
on Twitter.

tt. Individualized Accounts

• • •

• 0 •

gee Facebook ID 1479936895656747 (United Muslims of America); Facebook ID


1157233400960126 (Don't Shoot); Facebook ID 1601685693432389 Bein P atriotic F acebook ID
757183957716200 Secured Borders). • • • •

• • • •

• •

Social Media I~+uence in the 2626 /JS. Election, Hearing Before the Senate Select Committee
on fntelligence, 115th Cong, 13 (11/I/17) (testimony of Colin Stretch, Genera1 Counsel of Facebook),
m • • •

e • • •

• • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

• • 66

The IRA operated indivi ualize T w itter accounts similar' to the operation of its Facebook
accounts, by continuously posting original content to the accounts while also communicating with
U,S. Twitter users directly (through public tweeting or Twitter's private messaging).

The IRA used many of these accounts to attempt to influence U.S. audiences on the
election. I n dividualized accounts used to influence the U.S. presidential election included
@TEN GOP (described above); @jenn abrams (claiming to be a Virginian Trump supporter with
70,000 followers); ®Famcla Moore13 (claiming to be a Texan Trump supporter with 70„000
followers); and @America' 1st (an anti-immigration persona with 24,000 followers). In May
2016, the IRA created the Twitter account ®march for trump, which promoted IRA-organized
rallies in support of the Trump Campaign (described below). '

• • • •

• • •

Using these accounts and others, the IRA provoked reactions from users and the media. Multiple
IRA-posted tweets gained popularity. U .S. media outlets also quoted bveets from IRA-controlled
accounts and attributed them to the icactions of real U.S. persons. ' Similarly, numerous high-

• c •
Other individualized accounts included @MissouriNcwsUS (an account with 3,800 followers
that posted pro-Sanders and anti-Clinton material).
" See@march for trump, 5/30/16 Tweet (flrst post from account).
69 • • • • •

w For example, one IBA account tweetcd, "To those people, who hate the Confederate flag. Did
you know that the flag and the war wasn't about slavery, it was all about money." Thc tweet received over
40,000 responses. @Jcnn Abrams 4/24/17 (2:37 p,m.) Tweet.
' Josephine Luldto k. Chris Wells, Most Major Outlets Have Vsed Russian Tweets as Sources for
Partisan Opim'an: S~ , Co lumbia Journalism Review (Mar. 8, 2018);see also Twiner Steps Vp to Explain
ttttewYorkValues to Ted Cruz, Washington Post (Jan. 15, 2016) (citing IRA tweet); People Are Slamming
the CJA for Claiming Russia Tried to Help Donald Trump, U.S. News ht World Report g3cc. 12, 2016).
U.S. Department of Justice

profile U.S, persons, including former Ambassador Michael McFaul, R o ger Stone s Sean
Hannity,s» and Michael Flynn Jr.,ss re'tweeted or responded to tweets posted to these IRA-
controlled accounts. Multiple individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign also promoted IRA
tweets (discussed below).

b. JIIA Botnet Activities

• • s •

• a •• •

• • •

In January 2018, Twitter publicly identified 3,814 Twitter accounts associated with the
IRA, Ac cording to Twitter, in the ten weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, these
accounts posted approximately 175,993 tweets, "approximately 8,4'l» of which were election-
'

' ®McFaul 4/30/I 6 Tweet '(responding to tweet by @Jean Abrams).


n NRogerJStoneJr 3/30/16 Tweet (retweeting NPamela Moore13); ®RagerJStoneJr 4/26/16
Tweet (same),
s» @seanhannity 6/21/17 Tweet (retweeting camels M
oore13).
' @mflynnJR 6/22/1 7 Tweet ("'RT @Jean Abrams: This is what happens when you add the voice
over of an old documentary about mental illness onto video of SJWs...*').
" A botaet refers to a netwark of pdvate computers or accounts controlled as a group to send
specific automated messages, On the Twitter netwark, botnets can be used to promote and republish
("retweet") speciflc tweets or hashtags in order for them to gain larger audiences.
77 • • • • •

78 • • • •

Eli Rosenbeig, Twitter to Tell 677, 000 Users they grere IInd hy the Russtans. Some Signs Show
the Problem Continues, Washington Past (Jan, 19, 2019),
U,S. Department of Justice

related." Tw i tter also announced that it had notified approximately 1.4 million people who
Twitter believed may have been in contact with an IRA-controlled account.si

5. U. S. 0 erations Involvin Political Rallies

The IRA organized and promoted political rallies msidc the United States while posing as
U.S. grassroots activists. F irst, the IRA used one of its preexisting social media personas
(Facebook groups and Twitter accounts, for example) to announce and promote the event. Thc
IRA then sent a large number of direct messages to followers of its social media account asking
them to attend the event. From those who responded with interest in attending, the IRA then sought
a U.S, person to serve as thc event's coordinator. In most cases, the IRA account operator would
tell the U.S. person that they personally could not attend the event due to some preexisting conflict
or because they were somewhere else in the United States.'s The IRA then further promoted the
event by contacting U.S. media about the event and directing them to speak with the coordinator.ss
After the event, the IRA posted videos and photographs of the event to the IRA's social media
accounts.

The Office identified dozens of U.S. rallies organized by the IRA. The earliest evidence of
a rally was a "confederate rally" in November 2015.ss The IRA continued to organize rallies even
after the 2016 U.S, presidential election. The attendance at rallies varied. Some rallies appear to
have drawn few (if any) participants while others drew hundreds. The reach and success of these
rallies was closel m onitored

Twitter, "Update on Twiffer's Review of the 2016 US Election" (updated Jan. 31, 2018), Twitter
also reported identifying 50,258 automated accounts connected to the Russian government, which twccted
more than a million times in the ten weeks before the election.
" Twitter, "Update on Twitter's Review of the 2016 US Election" (updated Jan. 31, 2018).
0/20/169 0 kM g , 1 0 100tl09922909661/M gg gk 2 t I D ~

E**. .g., 'I/21116 0 ll ' I lit 02 6 g '1. t ~ ; I / 2 1/ 1 6 0


joshmilton024@gmail.corn to
ki ®march for trump 6/25/16 Tweet (postmg photos from rally outside Tmmp Tower).
'6 Instagram ID 2228012168 (Stand For Freedom) 11/3/15 Post ( MGood evening buds! Weil I am
planning to organize a confederate rally [...] in Houston on the 14 of November and I want more people
to attend.").
Harm to Ongoing Matter
U,S. Department of Justice

From June 2016 until the end of the presidential campaign,


almost all of the U,S. rallies organized by the IRA focused on the
U.S, election, often pmmoting the Trump Campaign and opposing
the Clinton Campaign. Pro-Trump rallies included three in New
York; a series of pro-Trump rallies in Florida in August 2016; and a
series of yro-Trump rallies in October 2016 in Pennsylvania. The

,• • s, Florida rallies drew the attention of the Trumy Campai~, which
posted about the Miami rally on candidate Trump's Facebook
I account (as discussed below).ss

Many of the same IRA employees who oversaw the IRA"s


s •
social media accounts also conducted the day-to-da recruitin f or
olitical rallies inside the U nited States.
s • • •

JRtt Poster for Pennsylvania


Rallies organized hy the IR4

6. Ta e t in a nd Recruitment of U.S. Persons

As early as 2014, the IRA instructed its employees to target U.S, persons who could be
used to advance its operational goals, Initiall r e cruitment focused on U.S. ersons who could
am lif t he content osted th e IRA. •a •

• • •

IRA emyloyees frequently used Twitter, Facebook, and


Instagram to contact and recruit U.S, persons who followed the group. The IRA recruited U,S.
ersons from serosa the olitical s eetrum. For example, the IRA targeted the family of~
and a number of black social justice activists

" The pro- Trump rallies were organized tbmugh multiple Facebook, Twitter, snd email accounts.
See, e.g., Facebook ID 100009922908461 (Matt Skiber); Facebook ID 1601685693432389 (Being
Patriotic') ; Twitter Account. Nmarch for trump; beingpatriotictigmail.corn. '(Rallies were organized in
New York on June'2S, 2016,' Florida on August 20, 2016; and Pennsylvania on October 2, 2016.)
87 . • • • • •

ss • • • •

31
U.S. Department of Justice,

while posing as a grassroots group called "Black Matters US,'us In February 2017, the persona
"Black Fist" (purporting to want to teach African-Americans to protect themselves when contacted
by law enforcement) hired a self-defense instructor m New York to offer classes sponsored by
Black Fist. The IRA also recruited moderators of conservative social media groups to promote
IRA-generated content,sc as well as recruited individuals to perform political acts (such as walking
around New York City dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask)."

• a • •

• • •

as the IRA's online audience became larger, the IRA tracked U.S.
persons wtth w om they communicated and had successfully tasked with tasks ran in . Irom
or anizin rallies to takin ic t ures with certain olitical messa es .

'9 3/11/16 Facebook Advertisement ID 6045078289928, 5/6/16 Facebook Advertisenu:nt ID


6051652423528 10/26/16 Faeebook Advertisement ID 6055238604687; 10/27/16 Facebook Message, ID
/k ID 100011698576461 (Taylor Brooks).
II/19/16 9 9 2 St 2, I D l t t l9699229116661 691 tt Sl it 1 t ID ~

12/8/16 Esnai1, robot@craigslist.org to beingpatrioticggmsil,cotn (conftrtnlng Craigslist


advertisement).
9/12-191169 li t* DS D,SD 2 I t SD ~
Sss, a . 1 1/11-27/16 Facebook Messa s, I D 100011698576461 (Taylor Brooks) tb
I (arranging to pay for plane tickets and for a
b om ) .
S ss, e . , 9 / 10/16 F acebook M essage, I D 10 0009922908461 (M att S k iber) 4 r
6 (discussing payment for rally supplies); 8/18/16 Twitter DM,
@m
arch for trump to (discussing payment for construction materials).
99 •
U,S. Department of Justice

s • • •

7. Interactions and Contacts with the Tram Cam ai

The investigation identified two different forms of connections between the IRA and
members of the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified no similar connections between
the IRA and the Cihnon Campaign,) First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the
Trump Campaign promoted — typically by linking, retweeting, or similar methods of reposting-
pro-Trump or anti-Clinton content published by the IRA through IRA-controlled social media
accounts. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U,S, persons
to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and
coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the United States.

a Tr ump Campaign Promotion ofISA political Materia l

Among the U.S. "leaders of public opinion" targeted by the IRA were various members '
and surrogates of the Trump Campaign. In total, Trump Campaign affiliates promoted dozens of
tweets, posts, and other political content created by the IRA.

Posts Born the IRA-controlled Twitter account ®TEN GOP were cited or retweeted by
m ultiple Trump Campaign oIIIcials and surrogates, including Donald J. Trump Jr., E r i c

' Ses, e.g., @DonaldJTrumpJr 10/26/16 Tweet ("RT ®TEN GOP: BREAKING Thousands of
names changed on voter rolls in Indiana. Police Investigating ¹Uoterpraud. ¹DrainTheSwamp.");
@DonaldJTrwnpJr 11/2/16 Tweet ('"RT ®TEN GOP: BREAKING: ¹UoterFraud by counting tens of
thousands of ineligible mail i n H i llary votes being reported in Broward County, Florida.");
@DonaldJTrumpJr 11/8/16 Tweet C'RT @TEN GOP: This vet passed away last month before he could
vote for Trump. Here he is in his ¹MAGA hat. ¹voted ¹ElectionDay."). Trump Jr. retweeted additional
®TEN GOP content subsequent to the election.
U,S, Depar!ment of Justice

Trump,s Kellyanne Conway,s Brad Parscale, 6 and Michael T. Flynn.'4 These posts included
allegations of voter fraud,'s' as well as allegations that Secretary Clinton had mishandled
classified information.' s

A November 7, 2016 post from the IRA-controlled P


00 eldhlwme
e: 4
Twitter account @Pamela Moore13 was retweeted by THANK
2trll for yrwrewe Meal My twm ical shaw!pheleaIrwe ywt
TNUMpEIEN wAVINADay yeswrdayl I two y o. welhwa is w oowEP
Donald J. Trump Jr fcs -TDQETHEfl,PIEWILLM AKE AMWE DAN HEAT AGA/NI

On September 19, 2017, President Trump's personal


account NrealDonaldTrump responded to a tweet from ' feeeua
Rll Nf
the IRA-controlled account @10 gop (the backup
account of @TEN GOP, which had already been
'deactivated by Twitter). The tweet read: "We love you,
Mr. President! Mts4

IRA employees monitomd the reaction of the Trump I 1!01 ' ALQ
Campaign and, later, Trump Adminishation officials to their
tweets. F o r example, on August 23, 2016, the IRA-
controlled persona "Matt Skiberw Facebook account sent a
message to a U.S. Tea Party activist, writing that "Mr. e l e w r m I est
Trump posted about our event m Miami! This is greatlw'
The IRA employee included a screenshot of candidate
Trump's Facebook account, which included a post about the gcreenehot of Trump Facebook
August 20, 2016 political rallies organized by the IRA. Account /from Matt Shiber)

rn ®EricTrump 10/20/16 Tweet (NRT @TEN GOP: BREAKING Hillary shuts down press
conference when asked about DNC Operatives corruption k, ¹VoterFraud ¹debatenight ¹TrutnpBN ).
'6 @Kellyannepolis 11/6/16 Tweet (NRT ®TEN GOP: Mother of jailed sailor: 'Hold Hillary to
same standards as my son on Classified info' ¹hillarysemail ¹WeinerGate.w),
" ®parscale 10/I 6/16 Tweet (" Thousands of deplorables chanting to the media: 'Tell The 'Auth! '
RT if you are also done w/ biased Media! ¹FridayFeeling").
'm NGenplynn 11/7/I 6 (retweeting @TEN GOP post that included in part w'@realDonaidTrump
N
86 @mike~ence will be our next POTUS 8t, VPOTUS. ).
' ' I T E N GOp 10/11/16 Tweet N( North Camlina finds 2/14 voters over the age of 110!!'g.
'6 WTEN GOP 11/6/16 Tweet ( MMother of jailed sailor: 'Hold Hillary to same standards as my
son on classified info ¹hillaryemiil ¹WeinerGaa.' w).
'@DonaldJTrump Jr 11/7/16 Tweet (NRT®pamela Moore13: Detroit residents speak out against
the failed policies of Obama, Hillary br democrats....").
TEE
@realDonaldTruynp 9/19/17 (7:33 p.m.) Tweet C'THANK YOU for your support Miami! My
team just shared photos fiom your TRUMP SIGN WAVING DAY, yesterday! I love you —and there is no
question — TOGETHER, WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! w).
" ' 2/22/M 9 e I M 2 , I D l t lell09922902001 IM tt e l ' 0* ) t ID ~
U,S. Department of Justice

• • • • •

b. Contact with Trump Campaign Officials in Connection to Jf allies

Starting in June 2016, the IRA contacted dlfl'eront U.S, persons affiliated with the Trump
Campaign in an effort to coordinate pro-Trump IRA-organizedrallies inside the United States. In
all cases, the IRA contacted the Campaign while rlaiming to be U.S, political activists working on
behalf of a conservative grassroots organization. The IRA's contacts included requests for signs
and other materials to use at rallies," as well as requests to promote the rallies and help coordinate
logistics.tss While certain campaign volunteers agreed to provide the requested support (for
example, agieeing to set aside a number of signs), the investigation has not identified evidence
that any Trump Campaign official understood the requests were coming from foreign nationale.

In sum, the investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election
through the "acflve measures" social media campaign carried out by the IRA, an organization
funded by Prigozhin and companies that he controlled. As explained futther in Volume I, Section
V.A, infra, the Office concluded (and a grandj ury has alleged) that Prignzhin, his companies, and
IRA employees violated U.S. Iaw through these operations, principally by undetmining through
deceptive acts the work of federal agencies charged with regulating foreign influence in U.S.
elections.

106 ,
• • • •

See, e.g„g/16/16 Email, joshmilton024@gmail.corn to ~ @d onaldtrump.corn (asking for


Trum /Pence signs f o r Fl orida r ally); 8 / 18/16 E m r d, j o shmilton024iwgmail.corn to
Ndonsldtrump.rom (a~ski fo r T rump/Pencesigns for Florida rally); 8/12/16 Email,
Joc~ilton024Ngmail.corn to @do natdtrump,corn (asking for "contact phone numbers for Trump
Campaign affiliates" in various Florida sities and signs).
8/15/16 Email, to joshmilton024 ma i krom askin t o add to
locadons to t h e " F lorida Goes Trump," i s t) ; 8 16/16 Email„ to
joshmiiton024@gmail.corn (volunteering to send an email blast to followers),
U.S. Department of Justice

III . RUSSIAN HACKING ANii DUMPING OPSSATIONS

Beginning in March 2016, units of the Russian Federation's Main Intelligence Directorate
of the General Staff (GRU) hacked the computers and email accounts of organizations, employees,
and volunteers supporting the Clinton Campaign, including the email account of campaign
cliairman John Podesta. Starting in April 2016„ the GRU hacked mto the computer networks of the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National
Committee (DNC). The GRU targeted hundreds of email accounts used by Clinton Campaign
employees, advisors, and volunteers. In total, the GRU stole hundreds of thousands of documents
from the compromised email accounts and networks,'cs The GRU later released stolen Clinton
Campaign and DNC documents through online pcrsonas, "DCLeaks" and "'Guccifer 2.0," and later
through the, organization WikiLeaks, The release of the documents was designed and timed to
interfere with thc 2016 U,S. presidential election and undermine the Clinton Campaign.

The Trum Cam ai s h owed interest in the WikiLeaks releases and, in the summer and
fall of 2016 •
• a
er
Wi iLeaks's first C inton-related release a „the Trump Campaign
sta e in contact + about WikiLeaks's activities. The investigation was unable to resolve
WikiLcaks's release of the stolen Podesta emails on October 7,
2016, the same day a video fmm years earlier was published of Trump using graphic language
about wmnen.

A. GRU Hacking Directed at the Clintou Campaign

I. G RU Units Tar ettheClintonCam ai

Two military units of the GRU carried out the computer intrusions into the Clinton
Campaign, DNC, and DCCC: Military Units 26165 and '74455,U Military Unit 26165 is a GRU
cyher unit dedicated to targeting military, political, governmental, and non-governmental
organizations outside of Russia, including in the United States."' The unit was sub-divided into
departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed specialized
malicious software *'mahvare" while another de ariment conducted large-scale spearphishing
campaigns 'u a bitcoin mining operation to

" As discussed in Section V below, our Office charged 12 GRU officers for crimes arising from
the hacking of these computers, principally with ccnspinng tc commit computer intrusions, in violation of
18 U.S.C. 81030 and 371. See Volume I, Section V,B, inpa; Indictment, Uaired Statesv. ¹I yhvhc, Nc.
I:18-cr-215 (D.D.C. July 13, 2018),, Doc. I ("¹ tyhrhc lndictmcnt").
'" ¹ iy hshcIndictment $ 1.
"' Separate from this Oflice's indirtment of GRU officers, in October 2018 a grand jury sitting in
the Western District of Pennsylvania returned an indictmcnt charging certain members of Unit 26165 with
backing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and other internadonal sport
associations. United Statesv. Alchsei ger geyevich itforeriers, No. 18-263 (W.D. Pa.).
" A spcarphishing email is designed to appear as 'though it originates from a trusted source, anil
solicits inforrcation to enable the sender to gain access tc au account or network, or causes the recipient tc
U.S, Department, of Justice
//

secure bitcoins used to purchase computer infrastructure used in hacking operations.'"

Military Unit 74455 is a related GRU unit with multiple departments that engaged m cyher
operations. Unit 74455 assisted in the release of documents stolen by Unit 26165, the promotion
of those releases„and the publication of 'anti-Clinton content on social media accounts operated by
the GRU. Officers from Unit 74455 separately hacked computers belonging to state boards of
elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology
related to the adminish'ation of U.S. elections."s

Beginning in mid-March 2016, Unit 26165 had primary responsibility for hacking the
DCCC arid DNC, as well as email accounts of individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign:"

Umt 26165 used to learn about


d dferent Democratic we sites, inc u ' de m ocrats. or h i a c l i nton.corn, dnc„o , a n
dccc.or,

egan efore the GRU had obtained any cre entials or gamed access
to e se netwoi , i n dicating that the later DCCC and DNC intrusions were not crimes of
opportunity but rather the result of targeting,"

GRU officers also sent hundreds of spearphishing emails to the work and personal email
accounts of Clinton Campaign employees and volunteers, Between March 10, 2016 and March
15, 2016, Unit 26165 appears to have sent approximately 90 spkarphishing emails to email
accounts at hillaryclinton.corn. Starting on March 15, 2016, the GRU began targeting Google
email accounts used by Clinton Campaign employees, along with a smaller mnnber of dnc.org
email accounts."

The GRU spearphishing operation enabled it to gain access to numerous email accounts of
Clinton Campaign employees and volunteers, including campaign chairman John Podesta, junior
volunteers assigned to the Clinton Campaign's advance team, informal Clinton Campaign
advisors, and a DNC employee." G R U o f ficers stole tens of thousands of emails Irom
spearphishing victims, including various Clinton Campaign-related communications.

download malware that enables the sender to gain access to an account or network. ¹I y hshoIndictmknt
$ 10.
" Bitcoin mining consists of unlocking new bitcoins by solving computational problems, II
kept 'its newly mined coins in an account on the bitcoin exchange platform CEX,io. To make
purchases, the ORU muted funds into other accounts thmugh transactions designed to obscure the source
of funds. ¹ /yhsho Indictment $ 62.
" ¹ ty hsho Indictment ti 69.
'" ¹ r yhsho
Indictment $ 9,
'" See SM-2589105, serials 144 rk 495.
117

1is

37
U.S. Deyartment of Justice
//

2, In trusions into the DCCC and DNC Networks

a Initial Access

By no later than April 12, 2016, the GRU had gained access to the DCCC computer
network using the credentials stolen from a DCCC employee who had been successfully
spearphished the week before. O ver the ensuing weeks, the GRU traversed the network,
identifying different computers conneoted to the DCCC network. By stealing network access
credentials along the way (including those of IT administrators with unrestricted access to the
system), the GRU compromised approximately 29 different computers on the DCCC network."

Approximately six days after first hacking into the DCCC network, on April 18, 2016,
GRU oAicers gained access to the DNC network via a virtual private network (VPN) connection'2
between the DCCC and DNC networks.'2' Between April 18, 2016 and June 82 2016, Umt 26165
compromised more than 30 computers on the. DNC network, including the DNC mail server and
shared file server.'22

b. Impfantation of /tIIalware on DCCC anrJDNC Networks

Unit 26165 implanted on the DCCC and DNC networks two tyyes of customized
malware s' known as "X-Agent'* and "X-Tunnel"; Mimikatz, a credential-harvesting tool; and
rar.exe, a tool used in these intrusions to compile and comyress materials far exfiltration. X-Agent
was a multi-funotion hacking tool that allovved Unit 26165 to log keystrokes, take screenshots, and
gather other data about the infected computers (e.g., file directories, operating systems}.' 4 X-
Tunnel was a hacking tool that created an encrypted connection between the victim DCCC/DNC
computers and GRU-controlled comyuters outside the DCCC and DNC networks that was capable
of large-scale data transfers, 2 GRU officers then used X-Tunnel to exfiltrate stolen data from the
victun computers.

119

A VPN extends a private network, allowing users to send and receive data across public
networks (such as the internet) as if the connecting computer was dir'ectly connected to the private network
The VPN in this case had been created, to @ve a small number of DCCC employees access to certain
databases housed on the DNC network, Therefore, while the DCCC employees were outside the DNC's
private network2 they could access parts of th'e DNC netwotk from their DCCC computers.
121

SM-2589105-HACK, serial 5.
122

M -2589105-HACK, seri 5 .
' '"Malware" is shortforinalicious software, and here refers to sofhvare designed to allow a third
party to infiltrate a computer without the, consent or knowledge of the computer's user or operator,
124

222
U.S, Department of Justice

To operate X-Agent and X-Tunnel on the DCCC and DNC networks, Unit 26165 officers
set up a group of computers outside those networks to communicate with the implanted
malware,tss The first set of GRU-conttolled computers, known by the GRU as "middle servers,"
sent and received messages to and from malware .on the DNC/DCCC networks,. The middle
servers,in turn,relayed messages to a second setof GRU-conn oiled corn uters labeled internally
by the GRU as an "AMS Panel." The AMS Panel served as a
nerve center through which GRV officers monitored and directed the ma ware's operations on the
DNC/DCCC networks. tsv

The AMS Panel used to connol X A ent during the DCCC and DNC intrusions was housed
on a leased corn uter located near At'tzorla.

"' I n connection with these intmsions, the GRU used computers (virtual private networks,
dedicated servers operated by hosting companies, etc.) that it leased fmm third.-party providers located all
over the world, The investi t i on identified rental a eements and payments for computers located in, inter
alla, all ot' which were used in the operations
targettng the U. S, e ection.
ur Hetv/rs/to Indictment il 25.

" Netykv/to Indictment il 24(c),


"' Netyksho Indictment f 24(b).

39
U,S. Department of Justice

The Arizona-based AMS Panel also stored thousands of files containing keylogging
sessions captured through X-Agent. These sessions were cultured as GRU officers monitored
DCCC and DNC 'employees' work on infected computers regularly between April 2016 and June
2016. Data captured in these keylogging sessions included passwords, internal communications
between employees, banking information, and sensitive personal information.

c. Theft of Docnnrents pontBxc andDccc Jitett corks

Officers from Unit 26165 stole thousands of documents from the DCCC and DNC
networks, including significant amounts of data pertaming to the 2016 U.S, federal elections.
Stolen documents included internal strategy documents, fundraising data, opposition research, and
emails from the work inboxes of DNC employees.'3

The GRU began stealing DCCC data shortly after it gained access to the network. On April
14, 2016 (approximately three days affer the initial hrtrusion) GRU officers downloaded rar.exe
onto the DCCC's document server. The, following day, the GRU searched one compromised
DCCC computer for files containing search terms that included "Hillary," "DNC " C ruz," and
"Trump."' ' On April 25, 2016, the GRU collected and compressed PDF and Microsoft documents
from folders on the DCCC's shared file server that pertained to the 2016 election."2 The GRU
appears to have compressed and exfiltrated over 70 gigabytes of data from this file server.'

The GRU also stole documents from the DNC network shortly after gaining access. On
April 22, 2016, the GRU copied files from the DNC network to GRU-controlled computers. Stolen
documents included the DNC's opposition research into candidate Trump.' Bet w een
approximately May 25„2016 and June I, 2016, GRU officers accessed the. DNC's mail server
fmm a GRU-controlled computer leased inside the United States.'3 During these connections,

' ' ¹t y hshoIndictment g 27-29;


131

132

133

134

SM-2589105-HAC s e rial 5,

133

~ See SM-2589105-GJ, serial 649. As part i t s investigation, t e FBI ster received images of DNC
servers and copies of relevant traffic logs.¹tyhsho Indictment g 28-29.
U.S. Department of Justice

Unit 26165 afficers appear ta have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later
released by WikiLeaks in July 2016.'

H. Dissemination of the Hacked Materials

The GRU's operations extended beyond stealing materials, and included releasing
documents stolen from the Clinton 'Campaign and its supporters. The GRU carried out the
anonymous release through twu fictitious online personas that it created — DCLeaks and Guccifer
2.0 — and later through the organization WikiLeaks.

1. DCLeaks

Th'e GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165
registered the domain dcleaks,corn through a service that anonymized the registrant. 7 Unit 26165
paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined, 'ss The dcleaks corn landing page
pointed to different trenches of stolen dacuments, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other
dcleaks.corn pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the
sender, recipient, and date of the email). Ta control access and the timing of releases, pages were
sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.

Starthtg in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.corn,
including documents stolen f'iom a number of individuals associated with the Clintan Campaign.
These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Gaagle
and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC comyuter networks. DCLeaks victims
included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC emyloyee and Clinton Campaign
emyloyee, and four other campaign volunteers, 3 T h e GRU released through dcleaks.corn
thausands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal
correspondence related to the Clinton Campaign and yrior political jobs, and fundraising files and
infarmatian.'

Nety/rshoIndictment $ 29, The last-in-time DNC email released by WikiLeaks was dated May
25, 2016, the same period of time during which the GRU gained access to the DNC's email server.
Netyks/roIndictment $ 45.
'~ Netyks/to Indictment g 35. Approximately a week before the registration of dcleaks,corn, the
same actors attem ted to re 'ster the website electionleaks.corn using the same domain registration service.

'~ See SM-2589105, serial 181; Nety/rs/to Indictmcnt $ 21(a).


139

See, e.g., IntemetArchive, *'htt s://dhleaks.corn/" archive dateNov. 10 2016). Additionally,


DCLeaks released documents relating to •

, emails belonging
to , and emails fmm 2015 re sting to Repub ican Party employees (un er the portfolio name
"The Unite S tates Republican Pariy"}. "The United States Republican Party" portfolio contained
apyroximately 300 emails fi'om a variety of GOPmembers, PACs, campaigns, state parties, snd businesses
dated between May and October 2015. According to open-source reporting, these victims shared the same
41
U,S, Depariment of Justice

GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily
used to promote releases of materials,'4' The Facebook page was administered through a small
number {rf preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.'4s

GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account ®dcleaks,
and the email account dcleaksproject®Smail.corn to communicate privately with reporters and
other U,S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access
to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages an the dcleaks.corn
website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating
under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a nan-public DCLeaks webyage to a U.S;
reporter via the Facebook account.'4' Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent
reporters Twitter direct messages I'rom @dcleaks w ith a password ta another non-yublic part of
the dcleaks.corn wehsite,'®

The DCLeaks.corn website remained oyerational and public until March 2017.

2. Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, 'the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC
network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team
alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as "Fancy Bear" ) were
responsible far the breach.'ss Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15„2016,
GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up
to the launch of that WordPress blag, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and
managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English,
including "some hundred sheets," "illuminati," and *'worldwide known." A ppraximately two
hours after the last of those searches„Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC
server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases
that the GRU officers had searched for that day.'+

Tennessee-based web-hosting comyany, called Sinartech Corporation. William Bastone,RISC E-Mail W'os,
In Foot, IIocked By Bossions, The Smoking Gun (Dec. 13, 2'016).
aa¹tyksho Indictment $ 38.
See, e.g., Facebook Account 100008825623541 (Alice Donavan).
7/14/16 Facebo'ok Message, ID 793058100795341 (DC Leaks) to ID
'"" See, e , 9/14/16 Twitter DM, d c l eaks ta ; 9/14/16 Twitter DM,
Ndcleaks to . The messages read: cHi https://t.co/{JTvKUj{JcGx pass:
KvFsg%*14{Rgpgudtamp; enjoy; )."
Dmitri Alperavitch, Bears in the Midst; Intrusion into th'e Democratic Rational Contnuttee,
CrawdStrike Blog (June 14, 2016), Crowdgnike updated its post after the June 15„2016 post by Gucuifer
2.0 claiming responsibility for the intrusion.
¹t yksho Indictment $$ 4 IA2.
U.S. Department of Justice

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Gueeifer 2,0 WordPress blog to begin
releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks. The
Guccifer 2,0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen frain the DNC and DCCC
in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October lg, 2016.'47 Released documents
included opposrtion research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing
potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on
haw to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and
fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states
(o,g,, Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential
election.

Beghming in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release
documents directly to reporters and other intbrested individuals, Specifically, on June 27, 2016„
Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to pravide "exclusive
access to some leaked emails linked [toJ Hillary Clinton's staff.'uss The GRU latex sent the
reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the deleaks,corn website that contained an
archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.' T h at
the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website
tends to indicate that both personas were aperated by the same or a closely-related group of
people us

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2,0 into August 2016. F or
example, on August 15, 2016, the Guceifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate foi the U.S, Congress
documents related to the candidate's opponent.'si On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona
tmnsferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S.
blogger covering Florida politics.'ss On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S.
reparter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.

ae Releasesof documents on the Guccifer 2,0 blog occurred on June 15,2016; June 20, 2016; June
21, 2016; July 6, 2016; July 14, 2016; August 12, 2016; August 15, 2016; August 21, 2016,' August 31,
2016; September 15, 2016; September 23, 2016; October 4, 2016; and October Ig, 2016.
6/27/16 Email c c ifer20@aol.tr 'to (subject "leaked emails");•

' ' 6/27/16 Email, uccifer20@acM' to (sub'ect "leaked emails" '


; soe also 6/27/16 Email, cif e i20@ao .fi to
su Iect 'leake emai s" „ (claumng DCLeaks was a 'Wiki eaks su
praj oct").
'~s Before sending the reporter the link and password to the closed DCLeaks webslte, and in an
apparent effort to detieet attention from the fact that DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 were operated by the same
organization, the Gueeifer 2,0 persona sent the reporter an email stating that DCLeaks was a "p/ikileaks
sub project" and that Gucciter 2.0 had asked DCLeaks tc release the leaked emails with "closed access'* to
give reporters a preview r f them.
' ' ¹ t y t s/IcIndictment $ 43(a).
'+ ¹t y /rshoIndictment $ 43(b).
re ¹ ty/rsho Indictment $ 43(e).
U.S. Depaitment of Justice

The GRU was also in contact throu h the Guccifer2.0 ersona with a former
Trum Cam ai n member

In ear y August 2016, • Twitter's suspension of the


Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account. After it was reinstate, GRU officers posing as Guccifer 2.0 wrote
ggg via private inessage, "thank u for writing back.. . do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the
d ocs i postedT' On August 17, 2016, the GRU added„"please tell me if i can help u anyhow. . .
it would be a great pleasure to me." O n September 9, 2016, the GRU~ a a i n posing as
Guccifer 2.0 — referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online and asked o ' "w h at do u
think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign,"'
responded, "pretty standard;nss T h e i nvestigation did not i dentify evidence of oO~oer
communications between/kg and Guccifer 2.0.

3. Use of WikiLeaks

In order to expand its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the GRU units
transferred many of the documents they stole from the DNC and the chairman of the Clinton
Cainpaign to WikiLeaks. GRU officers used both the DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 personas to
cominunicate with WikiLeaks through Twitter private messaging and through encrypted channels,
including possibly through WikiLeaks's private communication system.

a W'iktLeakss Expressed Opposition. Toward ttte Clinton Campaign

WikiLeaks, and particularly its founder Julian Assange, privately expressed opposition to
candidate Clmton well before the first release of stolen documents. In November 2015, Assange
wrote to other members and associates of WikiLeaks that "[w]e believe it would be much better
for GOP to win.. . Dems+Media+liberals woudl [sic] then form a block to reign in their worst
qualities... , Wi t h H i l lary i n charge, GOP wi ll b e p ushing for h er w o rst q ualities.,
dems+media+neoliberals will be mute... . She's a bright, well connected, sadisitic sociopath n s

In March 2016, WikiLeaks released a searchable archive of approximately 30,000 Clinton


emails that had been obtained through FOIA litigation.' W hi l e designing the archive, one
WikiLeaks member explained the reason for building the archive to another associate:

in •

lss • a • + •

11/19/15 Twitter Group Chat, Group ID 594242937858486276, @WikiLeaks et al, Assange


also wrote that, "GOP will generate a lot oposition [sic], including through dumb moves. Hillary will do
the same thing. but co-opt the liberal opposition and the GOP opposition. Hence hillary has greater freedom
to start wars than theGOP and has the will to do so." td.
" W i kiLesks, "Hillary Clinton Email Archive," available at https;//wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/,
U.S. Department of Justice

[W]e want this repository to become "the place" to search for background on hillary's
plotting at'thc state department during 2009-2013... . F irstly because its useful and will
annoy Hillary, but secondly because we want to be seen to be a resource/player in the US
election, because, eit [sic] may en[]courage people to send us even more important leaks.'

b. IliktLeaks's Eirst Contact' wiN Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks

Shortly after the GRU"s first release of stolen do'cuments through dcleaks.corn in June
2016, GRU officers also used the DCLeaks persona to contact WikiLeaks about possible
coordination in the future release of stolen emails. On June 14, 2016, @ dcleaks sent a direct
message to @WikiLeaks, noting, "You announced your organization was preparing to publish
mote Hillary's emails. We are ready to support you, We have some sensitive information too, in
particular, her financial documents, Let" s do it to ether, What do ou think about ublishin our
info at the same moment'7 Thank ou."' v

Around the same time, WikiLeaks initiated communications with the GRU persona
Guccifer 2.0 shortly after it was used to release documents stolen from the DNC. On June 22,
2016, seven days after Guccifer 2.0's first release~ of stolen DNC documents, WikiT,eaks used
Twitter's direct message function to contact the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account and suggest that
Guccifer 2.0 "[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have
a much higher impact than what you are doing." s

On July 6, 2016, WikiLeaks agrdn contacted Guccifer 2.0 through Twitter's private
messaging function, writing, "if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic]
days prefable [sic] because the DNC is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind
her afier," The Guccifer 2.0 persona responded, "ok.. . i see." WikiLeaks also explained, "we
think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary. . . so conflict between bernie and
hillary is interesting."' '

c. The GJ8U"sTransfer of Stolen /Ifaterials to JiikiLeaks

Both the GRU and WikiLeaks sought to hide their communications, which has limited the
Office's ability to collect all of the communications between them. Thus, although it is clear that
td t t DN D d f d t d dt t wd f df d DRD t WR K , d

' ' 3/14/16 Twitter DM, @WikiLeaks to Less than two weeks earlier, the same
account had been used to send a private message opposing the i es of Clinton "in whitehouse, with her
bloodlutt and amitions [sic] of empire with hawkish liberal-interventionist appointees,D 11/19/15 Twitter
Group Chat, Group ID 594242937858486276, @WikiLeaks et al,
"v 6/14/16 Twitter DM, ®dcleaks to @WikiLeaks.
/t/erykshoIndictment t[ 47(a),
"' 7/6/16 Twitter DMs, ®WikiLeaks Sd ®guccifer 2.
U.S. Department of' Justice

The Office was able to identify when the GRU (operating through its personas Guccifer 2 0
and DCLeaks) transferred some of the stolen documents to WikiLeaks thmugh online archives set
up by the GRU. Assan e had access to the internet from the Ecuadorian Embass in London
*
E l a nd.

On July 14, 2016, GRU officers used a Guccifer 2.0 email account to send WikiLeaks an
email'bearing the subject "big archive" and the message "a new attempt,"tss The email contained
an encrypted attachment with the name "wk dnc Iinkl.tat.gpg,'0 s Using the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter
account„GRU officers sent WikiLeaks an encrypted file and instructions on how to open it,tss On
July 18, 2016, WikiLeaks confirmed in a, direct message to the Guccifer 2.0 account that it had
"the IGb or so archive" and would make a release of the stolen documents "this week."' On
July 22, 2016, WiidLeaks released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC
cong>uter networks.'sr The Democratic National Convention began three days later.

Similar communications occurred between WikiLeaks and the GRU-operated persona


DCLeaks. On September 15, 2016, ®dcleaks wrote to @WikiLesks, "hi therel I'm from DC
Leaks. How could we discuss some submission-related issues? Am trying to reach out to you via
your secured chat but getting no response, I' ve got something that might interest you. You won' t
be disappointed, I promise."tss The WikiLeaks account responded„"Hi there," without further
elaboration. The @dcleaks account did not respond immediately.

The same day, the Twitter account @guccifer 2 sent ®dcleaks a direct message, which
is the first known contact between the personas,' Du r ~ s u bserluent communications, the

oa

'" This was not the GRU's first atlempt at transferring data to WikiLeaks. On June 29, 2016, the
GRU used a Guccifer 2.0 email account to send a lar e en ted f ile to a WikiLeaks email account.
6/29/16 Email, guccifer2®mail,corn (The email appears to have been
undelivered.)
"4 Sse SM-2589105-DCLEAKS, serial 28 (analysis),
"' 6/27/16 Twitter DM, @Guccifer 2 to ®WikiLeaks.
's 7/18/16 Twitter DM, @Guccifer 2 ds @WildLesks.
"r "DNC Email Archive," WikiLeaks (Jul. 22, 2016),available at https://wikileaks,org/dnc-emails.
'" 9/15/16 Twitter DM, @dcleaks to ®WikiLesks.
'+ 9/15/16 Twitter DM, ®guccifer 2 to @dcleaks .
U.S. Department of Justice

Guccifer 2.0 persona informed DCLeaks that WikiLeaks was trying to contact DCLeaks and
arrange for a way to speak through encrypted emails.'7

An analysis of the metadata collected from the WikiLeaks site revealed that the stolen
Podesta emails show a creation date of September 19, 2016.' Ba sed on information about
Assange's computer and its possible operating system, this date may be when the GRU staged the
stolen Podesta emails for transfer to WikiLeaks (as the GRU had previously done in July 2016 for
the DNC emails),'7 T he WikiLeaks site also released PDFs and other documents taken from
Podesta that were attachments to emails in his account; these documents had a creation date of
October 2, 2016, which appears to be the date the auachments were separately staged by
WildLeaks on its site,'is

Beginning on September 20, 2016, WikiLeaks and DCLeaks resumed communications in


a brief exchange. On September 22, 2016, a DCLeaks email account dcleaksproject@gmaiLcom
sent an email to a WikiLeaks account with the subject "Submission" and the message eHi from
DCLeaks." T h e e m ai l c o ntained a PG P-enc t e d me ssage w i t h t h e fi l ename
"wiki mail.txLgpg The email, however, bears a
number of similarities to the July 14, 2016 emai m which GRU officers used the Guceifer 2.0
persona to give WikiLeaks access to the archive of DNC files. On September 22, 2016 (the same
day of DCLeaks' email to WikiLeaks), the Twitter account d c leaks sent a sin le massa e to
WikiLeaks with the strin of characters

The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were n'ansferred to WikiLeaks through
intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016. For example, public reportmg identified
Andrew Miiller-Maguhn asa WikiLeaks associate who ma have assisted with the transfer of these
stolen documents to WikiLeaks,'is

'i See SM-2589105-DCLEAKS, serial 28; 9/15/16 Twitter D)4 ®Guccifcr 2 tk @WikiLcaks.
rn See SM-2284941, serials 63 8'c 64
172

t the time, certain App e operating systems use a setting that e a


own oa ed ilc's creation date the same as the creation date shown on thc host computer. This would
explain why the creation date on WikiLcaks's version of the files was still September 19, 2016. See SM-
2284941,serial 62 '
When WikiLeaks saved attachments sepamtcly from the stolen cmails, its computer system
appears to have treated each attachmeiit as a new file and given it a new creation date. See SM-2284941,
serials 63 tk 64.
'ri See 9/22/16 Email, dcleaksproject®gmaiLcom
Ellen Nakashima ct aL, 2 German JJactrer 0+ ers a Rare Look Jnside the Secretive grorld of
Julian Assange and JlrthiLeatts„Washington Post (Jan. 17„2018).
U.S. Department of Justice
//

On October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks released the first emails stolen from the Podesta email
account. In total, WikiLeaks released 33 tranches of stolen emails between October 7, 2016 and
November 7, 2016. The releases included private speeches given by Clinton i n t ernal
communications between Podesta and other high-ranking members of the Clinton Campaign 7'
and correspondence related to the Clinton Foundation,' ' In total, WikiLeaks released over S0,000
documents stolen from Podesta's personal email account. The last-in-time email released from
Podesta's account was dated March 21, 2016, two days after Podesta received a spearphishing
email sent by the GRU.

tt, WikiLeaks Statements Dissembling About tbe Source of Stolen Materials

As reports attributing the DNC and DCCC hacks to the Russian government emerged,
Wiki Leaks and Assange made several public statements apparently designed to obscure the source
of the materials that WiktLeaks was releasing. The file-transfer evidence described above and
other information uncovered during the investigation discredit WildLeaks1s claims about the
source of material that it posted.

Beginning in the summer of 2016, Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements
about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016, The statements about
Rich implied falsely that he had Been the source of the stolen DNG emails. On August 9, 2016,
the @WikiLeaks Twitter account posted: "ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a
US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich."' 6
Likewise, on August 25, 2016, Assange was asked in an interview, "Why are you so interested in
Seth Rich's killer7" and responded, "We' re very interested in anything that might be a threat to
alleged Wikileaks sources." The interviewer responded to Assange's statement by commenting,
"I know you don't want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you' re suggesting a man
who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered." Assange replied, "If there's someorte
who's potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious

176

176

'~ /tetyksboImlictment g 43.


'~ @WikiLesks 8/9/16 Tweet.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

circumstances, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious
matter...that type of allegation is very serious, as it's taken very seriously by us," s'

After the U.S, intelligence community publioly announced its assessment that Russia was
behind the hacking operation, Assange continued to deny that the Clinton materials released by
WikiLeaks had come from Russian hacking, According 'to media reports, Assange told a U.S,
congressman that the DNC hack was an "inside job," and purported to have "physical proof" that
Russians did not give materials to Assange.'ss

C. Additional GRU Cyber Operations

While releasing the stolen emails and documents through DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, and
WikiLeaks, GRU officers continued to target and hack victims linked to the Democratic campaign
and, eventually, to target entities responsible for election administration in several states.

I. Summer and Fall 2016 0 erations Tar etin Democrat-Linked Victims

On July 27 2016 Unit 26165 targeted email accounts cormected to candidate Clinton's
personal office . Earlier that day, candidate Trump made public statements that
"

included the fol owing: 'Russia, if you' re listening, I hope you' re able to find the 30,000 emails
that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."' T h e "30,000
emails" were apparently a reference to emails described in media accounts as having been stored
on a personal server that candidate Clinton had used while serving as Secretary of State,

Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first
time Clinton's personal office. After' candidate Trump's remarks Unit 26165 oreated and sent
malicious links targeting 15 email accounts at the domain including an email
t bel g i g t C I ' 1 id ~ Th l Sg S S d t e d cs (
GRU attempts to compromise accounts heated on this domain, It is unclear how the GRU was
able to identify these email accounts, which were not public. its

Unit 26165 officers also hacked into a DNC account hosted on a cloud-computing service
On September 20, 2016, the GRU began to generate
copies of the DNC data usin function designed to allow users to produce backups of
databases (referred to as "snapshots'9. The GRU then stole those snapshots by moving

'si SceAssangs: "Murdered DIRACStajpr liras potential'


' WikiLsatts Sottrce, "Fox News (Aug. 25,
2016)(containing video of Assange interview by Megyn Kelly).
'ss M. Raju th Z. Cohen, A GOP Cangressrsan's Lonely Quest Defending Jidtan Assangs, CNN
(May 23, 2018).
'" "Donald Trump on Russian 4 Missing Hillary Clinton Emails," YouTube Channel C-SPAN,
Posted 7/27/16, available at https://www.youtube.corn/watch7v=3kxGgu JUsWU ('starting at 0:41).
1$4
U,S, Department of Justice

them to account that they controlled; from there, the copies were moved to GRU-
controlled computers. The GRU stole approximately 300 gigabytes of data from the DNC cloud-
based account,iss

2. In trusions Tar etin t he Administration of U.S. E ections

In addition to targeting individuals involved in the Clinton Campaign, GRU officers also
targeted individuals and entities involved in the administration of the elections. Victims included
U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections (SBOEs), secretaries of state, and
county g overnm
ents, a s well as individuals who worked for those entities," T h e GRU also
targeted private technology firms responsible for manufacturing and administering election-related
software and hardware, such as voter registration software and electronic polling stations.'$ The
GRU continued to target these victims through the elections in November 2016. While the
investigation identified evidence that the GRU targeted these individuals and entities, the Office
did not investigate further. The Office did not, for instance, obtain or examine servers or other
relevant items belonging to these victims, T h e Office understands that the FBI, the U.S,
Deparhnent of Homeland Security, and the states have separately investigated that activity,

By at least the summer of 2016„GRU officers sought access to state and local computer
networks by exploiting known software vulnerabilities on websites of state and local governmental
entities. GRU officers, for example, targeted state and local databases of registered voters using a
technique known as "SQL injection," by which malicious code was sent to the state or local
website in order to run commands (such as exfiltrating the database coritents),'$$ In one instance
in approximately June 2016, the GRU compromised the computer network of the Illinois State
Board of Elections by exploiting a vulnerability in the SBOE's website. The GRU then gained
access to a database containing information on millions of registered Illinois voters,'+ and
extracted data related to thousands of U.S. voters before the malicious activity was identified.'s'

GRU officers scanned state and local websites for


vulnerabilities. For exam le, over a two-da erio i n July 2016, GRU officers ~
for vulnerabilities on websites of mo' r'e than
two dozen states.

" NetyhshoIndictment ti 34; see also SM-2589105-HACK, serial 29

'" ¹ r yhsho
Indictment ti 69.
"s ¹ hs ho Indictment 6 9 ",

$$$

1$9

19$

50
U.S. Deparnnent of Justice
Jl

Similar for vulnerabi ities continued through the election.

Unit 74455 also sent spearphishing emails to 'public officials involved in election
administration and personnel at corn anies involved in voting technology. In August 2016, GRU
officers targeted employees o , a voting technology company that developed software
used by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls, and installed malware on thc company
network, Similarly, in November 2016, the GRU sent spearphishing emails to over 120 email
accounts used by Florida county officials responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. election.' '
The spearphishing emails contained an attached Word document coded with malicious software
(commonly referred to as a Trojan) that permitted the GRU to access the infected computer.' s
The FBI was separately responsible for this investigation, We understand the FBI believes that this
operation enabled the GRU to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county
government, The Office did not independently verify that belief and, as explained above, did not
undertake the investigative steps that would have been necessary to do so.

D. Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials

The Trump Campaign showed interest in WikiLeaks's releases of hacked materials


throu out the summer and fall of 2016.

'9' Ne k sho Indictment 7 6 '


U.S. Departmept of Justice

b. Contacts with the Cutnirutgn ubaut WikiLeuks

• • • •

e • •

Qn June 12, 2016, Assange claimed in a televised interview to "have emails relating
to H lary Clinton which are pending publication,"ss but provided no additional context.

In debriefin s with the Of fic, former de u c a m a i ch airman Rick Gates said that
• • •

u • •

ates rec ed candidate


Trump being generally frustrated t at t e Chnton emails had nut been found.' s

Paul Manafo w ho would later become cam ai n chairman


197 • c s

• • •

See Mahita Gajanan, Ation Assange Timed DNC Email Release for Democrattc Convention,
Time (July 27, 2016) (iiuoting the June 12, '2016 television interview).
'" In February 2018, Gates pleaded guilty, pursuant to a ylca agmemcnt, to a superseding crindnal
information chmging him with conspiring to dcf'raud and commit multiple offenses(i.e., tax fraud, failure
to report foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal) against the
United States, as well as making false statements to our Office. Superseding Criminal Information, United
Statesv. Richard O'. Gates III, 1: 17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2018), Doc, 195(" Gates Superseding Crimmal
Information" ); Plea Agreement, United Statesv. Richard W. Gates III, 1:17-m-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2018 ),
Doc, 205 ("Gates P'lea Agi'cement"). Gates has provided information and in-court testimony that the Office
has deemed to be reliable.
Gates 10/25/18 302, at 1-2.
As explained further in Volume I, Section IV.A.8,inPa, Manafort entered into aplea agreement
with our Office. We determined that he breached the agreement by being untruthful in proffer sessions and
before the grand jury, We have generally recounted his version of events in this report only when his
statements arc sufficiently corroborated to be trustworthy; to identify issues on which Manafort's untruthful
responses may themselves be of evidentiary value; or to provide Manafort's explanations for certain events,
even when we were unable to determine whether that explanation was credible. His account aypcars here
principally because it aligns with those of other witnesses.
19$
U.S, Deparlment of Justice

Michael Cohen, former executive vioe president of the Trump Organization and special
counsel to Donald J. Trump,'0 told the Office that he recalled an incident in which he was in
• • e• •
candidate Trum 's office in Trum Tower

Cohen he r told thc Office that, after WikiLea s's subsequent release of sto1en
DNC emails in July 2016, candidate Trump said to Cohen something to the effect of, I
• • •

A ccording to Gates, Manafort expresse excitement about e


release Manafort, for his part, told the Office that, shortl a fter
WikiLeaks's J 2 2 release, Manafort also s oke with candidate Trum
• • • •

• a •• •
Manafort also wante t o e k ept apprised of any

' ' In November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to a single-count
information charging him with making false statements to Congress, in violation of 18 U.S.C, ii 1001(a) 4
(c). Hc had previously pleaded guilty to several other criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's
Office in the Southern District of New York, after a referral from this Office. In the months leading up to
his false-statements guilty plea, Cohen met with our Office on multiple occasions for interviews and
provided information that the Office has generally assessed to be reliable and that is included in this report.
200 •

201 „ 0 • •

02 Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 10, • a


• • • •

• a 0

20'Gates 10/25/18 302 (serial241), at4.


204

202
U,S. Department of Justice

developments with WikiLeaks and separately told Gates to keep in touch g~~ ~ abo ut future
WikiLeaks releases,2 '

According to Gates, by 'the late summer of 2016, the Trump Campaign was planning a
press strategy, a communications cern ai an d massa in b ased on the ossible release of
Clinton emails b W i kiLeaks. ' • • • • •

208 • • • •

while Trum and Gates were drrvtn to LaGuardia Airport.


, shortly after the call

• • • ,

candidate Trump told Gates that more re eases of amagmg o r mation would be coming.2 '

• 0. • • •

• • e •

• • • •

Corsi is an au or w o holds a doctorate m olitical science. I n 2016, Corsi also wor ed for the
media outlet WorldNetDail • a • •

2w Gates 4/10/1 8 302, at 3; Gates 4/11/18 302, at 1-2 (SM-2180998); Gates 10/25/1 8 302, at 2,
2IiS

2" Gates 10/25/18 302 (serial 24 1), at 4.


2W •

211 •

'+ Corsi first rose to public prominence in August 2004 when he published his book Unfit for
Cominiindi Swift Boat Veterans Speak Our Against Jo/in Esrry. In the, 2008 election cycle, Corsi gained
prominence for heing a leading proponent of the allegation that Barack Obama wss not born in the United
States. Corsi told the Office that Donald Trump expressed interest in his writings, and that he spoke with
Trump on the phone on at less't six occasions, Corsi 9/6/18 302, at 3.
2" Corsi 10/31/18 302, at 2; ' Corsi was first
interviewed on September 6, 2018 at the Special Counse 's of ces in Washmgton, D.C, H e w as
accompanied by counsel throughout the interview'. Corsi was subsequently interviewed on September 17,
2018; September 21, 2018; October 31, 2018; November 1, 2018; and November 2, 2018, Counsel was
U.S. Department of Justice

• e ••
Corsi to d the Of6ce urin
interviews that he "must have" revious d scussed Assan e with Malloch. '

• • • •

According to Ma loch, Corsi asked hun to put Corsi in touch with Assange, w om Corsi
wished to interview. Malloch recalled that Corsi also suggested that individuals in the "orbit" of
U.K. politician Nigel Farage might be able to contact Assange and asked if Malloch knew them.
Malloch told Corsi that he would think about the request but made no actual attempt to connect
Corsi with Assange, "

• • • • •

• • • • •

present for all interviews, and the interviews beginning on September 21, 2018 were conducted pursuant to
a proffer agreement that precluded affirmative use of his statements against him in limited circumstances.
214 •

2" Corsi 10/31/18 302, at 4.


216 •

217 •

218
Malloch denied ever communicatmg with Assange
or WikiLeaks, stating that e not ursue e re uest to contact Assange because he believed he had no
commotions to Assange.
219 •

2N • • • • •

55
U.S. Department of Justice

Malloeh stated to investigators that beginnin in or about Au s t 2016, he and Corsi had
multiple Face Time discussions about WikiLeaks
had made a connection to Assange and that the hacked emai s of Jo P o esta would be release
prior to Election Day and would be helpful to the Trump Campaign. In one conversation in or
around August or September 2016, Corsi told Malloch that the release of the Podesta emails was
coming, after which "we" were going to be in the driver's seat,~'

4 • •

s • •
• • • e

• • • •

• • • a

• • • •

• • •

• 4 • •

• •

221

• • •

• • • e
224 • • •

• 4 •

• 4 •
227 • • •

228 •

• • I •

56
U,S. Dep332tment of Justice

• • •

• • « •

• •

• •

• • •

• • •

• • • •

• • « •

• • •

• I •

230 • •

• • • •

232 •

• • •

234 • • 3 • •

• 0 • •

• 4 •
232

238 • • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

d, 8'ikiLeaks's October 7, 201RRelease of Stolen Podesta Ernails

On October 7 2016 four days after the Assange press conference


, the Washington Post published anAccess Holiywoo vt deo that
capture comments by can i ate Trump some years earlier and that was expected to adversely
affect the Campaign. 2 Less than an hour after the video's publication, WikiLeaks released tlie
f'ust set of emails stolen by the GRU &om the account of Clinton Campaign chairman
John Podesta.

• e •• •

• • 4

• I •

• • • •

• • • 4

Curst said t at, because he had no direct means o communicating with


W' iL e s , he tol members of the news site WND — who were participating on a conference call
with him that day — to reach Assange immediately.24» Corsi claimed that the pressure was

• •

'2 Candidate Trump can be heard off camera making graphic statements about women,
244 •

241 •

242 •

242 •

In a later November 2018 interview, Corsi stated • • ' •

thathe believed Mal och was on the ca I but e n o cus


on other in 'vidua who were on t e ca -invitation, which Malloch was not, (Separate travel records show
that at the time of the call, Malloch was aboard a transatlantic flight), Corsi at one point stated that atter
WikiLesks's release of stolen emaiis on October 7, 2016, he concluded Malloch had gotten in contact with
Assange, Corsi 11/I/I 8 302, at 6.
U.S. Department of Justice
II

enormous and recalled telling the conference call the Access Hollywood tape was coming. Corsi
stated that he was convinced that his efforts had caused WikiLeaks to release the emails when they
did.255 In a later November 2018 interview, Corsi stated that he thought that he had told people
on a WND conference call about'the forthcoming tape and had sent out a tweet asking whether
anyone could contact Assange, but then said that maybe he had done nothing. 52

The Office investigated Corsi's allegations about the events of October 7 2016 but found
little corroboration for his sile ations about the da .'24'
• s •

However, e phone records


themselves do not indicate that the conversation was wi a n y of the reporters who broke the
Access Hollywood sto, a nd the Office has not otherwise been able to identif t he substance of
the conversation. • • • •

However, the OAice


as not identdied any conference ca parhcipant, or anyone who spo e to Corsi that day, who says
that 'they received non-public information about the tape from Corsi or acknowledged having
contacted a member of WildLeaks on October 7, 2016 after a conversation with Corsi.

e. JJorruld Trump Jr. Inrerrrcriorr ivirJ2 WikiLeaks

Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks during the
campaign period. On September 20, 2016, an individual named Jason Fishbein sent WikiLeaks
the password for an unlaunched website focused on Trump's "unprecedented and dangerous" ties

~' During the same interview, Corsi also suggested that he may have sent out public tweets because
he knew Assange was reading his tweets, Our Office was unable to find evidence of any such tweets.
Corsi 9/21/18 302, at 6-7.
2" Corsi11/1/18 302, at6.
255 • 5 •

• • 5 •

250 •
• • 5

251 •
• •

• • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

to Russia, PutinTrump.org.rsr WikiLeaks publicly tweeted: "'Let's bomb Iraq' Progress for
America PAC to launch "PutinTrump.org' at 9:30am. Oops pw is 'putintrump' putintrump.org."
Several hours later, WikiLeaks sent a Twitter direct message to Donald Trump Jr., "A PAC run
anti-Trump site putintrump.org 'is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We
have guessed the password. It i s ' putintrump,' See 'About' for who i s behind it. A ny
commentsv'ass.

Several hours later, Trump Jr, emailed a variety of s'enior campaign staff:

Guys I got a weird Twitter DM from wikileaks. See below. I tried the password and it
works and the about section they reference contains the next pic in terms of who is behind
it. Not sure if this is anything but it seems like it's really wikileaks asking me as I follow
them and it is a DM. Do you know the people mentioned and what the conspiracy they are
looking for could be'7 These are just screen shots but it's a fully built out page claiming to
be a pAC let me know your thought's and if we want to look into it,rs4

Trump Jr. attached a screenshot of the "About" page for the unlaunehed site PutinTrump.org. The
next day (after the website had launched publicly), Trump Jr. sent a direct message to WikiLeaks:
"Off the record, I don't know who that is but I' ll ask amund. Thanks 3"~sr

On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks sent another direct message to Trump Jr,, a~king "you
guys" to help disseminate a link alleging cand'idate Clinton had advocated using a drone to target
Julian Assange. Trump Jr, responded that he ah'eady "had done so," and asked, "what's behind
this Wednesday leak I keep reading abouts'oss WikiLeaks did not respond,

On October 12, 2016„WikiLeaks wmte again that it was "lpuat to see you and your dad
talking about our publications. Stmngly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us
wlsearch,tk.'us~ WikiLeaks wrote that the link would help Trump in "digging through" leaked
emails and stated, "we just released Podesta emails Part 4."+s Two days later, Trump Jr. publicly
twreted thc wlsearch.tk link.s

~'~ 9/20/16 Twitter DM JasonFishbein to @WikiLeaks; see JF00587 (9/21/16 Messages,


@jabber.c|yptoparly.is @jabber.cryptoparty.is); Fishbein 9/5/18 302, at 4. When
nterv awed. by om Office, Flshbein produced what he claimed to be logs fiom a chatroom in which the
participants discussed U.S. politics; one of the other participants had posted the webslte and password that
Fishbein sent to WikiLeaks.
' 9/20/16 Twitter DM, @WgdLeaks to ®Donald JTrump Jr.
TRUMPORG 28 000629-33 (9/21/1 6 B|nail, Trump Jr. to Conway et al. (subject
"Wikileaks")).
"' 9/21/16 Twitter DM, @DonaldJTrumpJr to @WikiLeaks,
~'~ 10/3/16 Twitter DMs, @Donald JTrumpJr /I; @WikiLeaks,
r'7 At the time, the link took users to a WikiLeaks archive of stolen Clinton Campaign documents.
u' 10/12/1 6 Twitter DM, @WikiLeaks to,@Donald JTrump Jr.
"9 +Donald JTrump Jr 10/14/16 (6:34 a.m.) Tweet.

60
U.S. Department of Justice

2. Other Potential Cam ai n Interest in Russian Hacked Materials

Throughout 2016„ the Trump Campaign expressed interest in Hillary Clinton's private
email server and whether approximately 30,000 emails from that server had in fact been
permanently destroyed, as reported by the media. Several individuals associated with the
Campaign werc contacted in 2016 about various efforts to obtain the missing Clinton emails and
other stolen material in support of the Trump Campaign, Soine of these contacts werc met with
skepticism,a nd nothing came of them; others were pursued to some degree. The investigation did
I
not find evidence that the Trump Campaign recovered any such Clinton emails, or that these
contacts werc part of a coordinated effort between Russia and the Trump Campaign.

a, Henry OJrnyansky (a4/u Henry Greenberg)

In the spring of 2016, Trump Campaign advisor Michael Caputo learned through a F lorida-
based Russian business partner that another Florida-based Russian, Henry Oknyansky (who also
went by the name Henry Oreenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton,
Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky.
Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting.'~

Oknyansky was accompanied to the meeting by Alexei Rasin, a Ukrainian associate


involved in Florida real estate, At the meeting, Resin offered to sell Stone derogatory information
on Clinton that Rasin claimed to have obtained while working for Clinton. Resin claimed to
possess financial statements demonstrating Clinton *s involvement in money laundering with
Resin's companies, According to Oknyansky, Stone asked if the amounts in question totaled
millions of dollars but was told it was closer to hundreds of thousands. Stone refused the offer,
stating that Trump would not pay for opposition research.

Oknyansky claimed to the Office that Resin's motivation was financial. According to
Oknyansky, Rasin had hied unsuccessfully to shop the Clinton information around to other
interested parties, and Oknyansky would receive a cut if the information was sold.is~ Resin is
noted in public source documents as the director and/or registered agent for a number of Florida
companies, none of which appears to be connected to Clinton, The Office found no other ciddence
that Rasin worked for Clinton or any Clinton-related entitics.

In their statements to investigators, Oknyansky and Caputo had contradictory recollections


about thc meeting. Oknyansky claimed that Caputo accompanied Stone to the meeting and
provided an introduction, whereas Caputo did not tell us that he had attended and claimed that he
was never told what information Oknyansky offered. Caputo also stated that he was unaware
Oknyansky sought to be paid for the information until Stone mformed him after the fact.sss

Caputo 5/2/18 302, at 4; Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 1,


Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 1-2.
' Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 2.
i" Caputo 5/2/18 302, at 4; Oknyansky 7/13/1 8 302, at 1.
U.S. Deparlment of Justice

The Office did not locate Rasin in the United States, although the Office confirmed Rasin
had been issued a Florida driver's license. The Office otherwise was unable to determine the
content and origin of the information he purportedly offered to Stone. Finally, the investigation
did not identify evidence of a connection between the outreach or the meeting and Russian
interference efforts.

b. campaign Efforts to Obtain Deleted clinron EntaiLs

After candidate Trump stated on July 27, 2016, that he hoped Russia would "find the
30„000 emails that are missing," Trump asked individuals affiliated with his Campaign to find the
deleted Clinton emails.244 Michael Flynn —who would later serve as National Security Advisor in
the Trump Administtation — recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn
subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails,2m

Barbara Ledeen and Peter Smith were among the people contacted by Flyrm. Ledeen, a
long-time Senate staffer who had previously sought the Clinton emails, provided updates to Flynn
about her efforts throughout the summer of 2016.~s Smith, an investment advisor who was active
in Republican politics, also attempted to locate and obtain the deleted Clinton emails.~s

Ledeen began her efforts to obtain the Clinton emails before Flynn's request, as early as
December 2015.~s On December 3, 2015, she emailed Smith a proposal to obtain the emails,
stating, "Here is the proposal I briefiy mentioned to you, The person I described to you would be
happy to talk with you either in person or over the phone. The person can get the emails which I,
Were classified and 2. Were purloined by our enemies. That would demonstrate what needs to be
demonstrated."

Attached to the email was a 25-page proposal stating that the "Clinton email server was, in
all likelihood, breached long ago," and that the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian intelligence services
could "re-assemble the server's email content." s The proposal called for a three-phase approach.
The first two phases consisted of open-source analysis. The third phase consisted of checking with
certain intelligence sources "that have access thmugh liaison work with various foreign services"
to determine if any of those services had gotten to the server. The proposal noted, "Even if a
single email was recovered and the providence [sic] of that email was a foreign service, it'would
be catastrophic to the Clinton campaign[.]" Smith forwarded the email to two colleagues and

'" Flynn 4/25/18 302, at 5-6; Flynn 5/I/1 8 302, at 1-3.


" Flynn 5/1/18 302, at 1-3.
" Flyim 4/25/1 8 302, at 7; Flynn 5/4/1 8 302, at 1-21 Flynn 11/29/1 7 302, at 7-8.
i' Flynn 11/29/17 302,at 7.
ia Szohocsan 3/29/17 302, at 1.
12/3/15 Email, Ledeen to Smith.
7 12/3/15 Email, Ledeen to Smith (attachment),
U,S. Deparlment of Justice
//

wrote, 'We can discuss to whom it should be referred." ' On December 16, 2015, Smith informed
Ledeen that he declined to participate in her "initiative." According to one of Smith's business
associates, Smith believed Ledeen's initiative was not viable at that time.tis

Just weeks after Trump's July 2016 request to find the Clinton emails, however, Smith
tried to locate and obtain the emails himself. He created a company, raised tens of thousands of
dollars, and recruited security experts and business associates, Smith made claims to others
involved in the effort (and those from whom he sought funding) that he was in contact with hackers
with "ties and affiliations to Russia" who had access to the emails, and that his efforts were
coordinated with the Trump Campaign.s7s

On August 28, 2016, Smith sent an email from an encrypted account with the subject "Sec.
Clinton's unsecuredprivate email server" to an undisclosed list of recipients,, including Campaign
co-chairman Sam Clovis. The email stated that Smith was "fj]ust finishing two days of sensitive
meetings here in DC with involved groups to poke and probe on the above. It is clear that the
Clinton's home-based, unprotected servei was hacked with ease by both State-related players, and
*'
private mercenaries. Parties with varying interests, are circling to release ahead of the election.

On September 2, 2016, Smith directed a business associate to establish KLS Research LLC
in furtherance ofhis search for the deleted Clinton emails. 7 One of the purposes of KLS Research
was to manage the funds Smith raised in support of his initiative. s KLS Reseat'ch received over
$30,000 during the presidential cainpaign, although Smith represented that he raised even more
nloiley,

Smith recruited multiple people for his initiative, including security experts to search for
and authenticate the emails 7s In early September 2016, as part of his recruitment and fundraising
effort, Smith circulated a document stating that his initiative was "in coordination" with the Trump
Campaign, "to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure organization," + The document
listed multiple individuals aAiliated with the Trump Campaign, including Flynn, Clevis„Barmen,

rn 12/3/15 Email, Smith to Szobocsan dz Safron.

Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at I,


' 8/31/I 6 Email, Smith to Smith.
~'i 8/28/16 Email, Smith to Smith.

' Incorporation papers of KLS Research LLC, 7/26/17


Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 2.
ii~ Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 3,
'" F inancial Institution Record of Peter Smith and KLS Research LLC, 10/31/17 ~
10/11/16 Email, Smhh to
'is Tait 8/22/17 302, at 3; York 7/12/17 302, at 1-2; York 11/22/17 302, at 1.
' ' York 7/13/17 302 (attachment KLS Research, LLC, "Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative,"
Sept. 9, 2016).
U.S. Department.of Justice,

and Kellyanne Conway.z c The investigation established that Smith communicated with at least
Flynn and Clavis about his search for the deleted Clinton emails,' " but the Office did not identify
evidence that any of the listed individuals initiated or directed Smith's efforts;

In September 2016, Smith and Ledeen got back in touch with each other about their
respective efforts. Ledeen wrote to Smith, *'wondering if you had some more detailed reports or
memos or other data you could share because we have come a long way in our efforts since we
last visited.. . . We would need as much technical discussion as possible so we could marry it
czsz
againstthe new data we have found and then could share it back to you 'your eyes only,'

Ledeen claimed to have obtained a trove of emails (from what she described as the "dark
web") that purported to be the deleted Clinton emails, Ledeen wanted to authenticate the emails
and solicited contributions to fund that effort. Erik Prince provided fimding to hire a tech advisor
to ascertain the authenticity of the emails. According to Prince, the tech advisor determined that
the emails were not authentic.ass

A backup of Smith's computer contained two files that had been downloaded from
WikiLeaks and that were originally attached to emails received by John Podesta. The files on
Smith's computer had creation dates of October 2, 2016, which was prior to the date of their release
by WikiLeaks. Forensic examination, however, established that the creation date did not reflect
when the files were downloaded to Smith's computer. (It appears the creation date was when
WikiLeaks staged the document for release, as discussed in Volume I, Section III,B3,c, supra,z~)
The investigation did not otherwise identify evidence that Smith obtained the files before their
release by WikiLeaks.

Smith continued to send emails to an undisclosed recipient list about Clinton's deleted
emails until shortly before the election, For example, on October 28, 2016„Smith wrote that there
was a "tug-of-wai' going on within WikiLeaks over its planned releases in the next few days," and
that WikiLeaks "has maintained that it will save its best revelations for last, under the theory this
allows little time for response prior to the U.S. election November 8." " A n attachment to the

The 'same r ecruitment d o cument li sted J erome C c rs i un d er "Independent


Groups/Organizations/Individuals,," and described him as an '*established author and writer from the right
on President Obama and Sec. Clinton,*'
"' Flynn 11/29/17 302, at 7-8; 10/15/16 Email, Smith to Flynn et al„g/28/16 Email, Sm'ithto Smith
(bcc: Clovis et aL).
"z 9/16/16 Email, Ledeen tc Smith.
z sPrince 4/4/18 302, at4-5.
The forensic analysis of Snfith's computer devices found that Smith used an older Apple
operating system that would have preserved that October 2, 2016 creation date when it was downloaded
(no matter what day it was in fact downloaded by Smith), h'as Volume I, Section III.B.3.c, su/im. The
Office tested this theory in March 2019 by downloading the two files found on Smith's computer from
WikiLeaks* s site using the same Apple operating system on Smith's computer; both files were successfully
downlcaded and retained the October 2, 2016 creation date. See SM-2284941, serial 62.
'" 10/28/1 6 Email, Smith to Saith.
U.S. Department of Justice

email claimed that %ikiLeaks would release "All 33k deleted Emails" by "November 1st," No
emails obtained from Clinton's server were subsequently released.

Smith di'afted mulnple emails stating or intimating that he was in contact with Russian
hackers. For example, in one such email, Smith claimed that, in August 2016, KLS Research had
organized meetings with parties who had access to the deleted Clinton emails, including parties
with ' *ties and affiliations to Russia,azss The investigation did not identify evidence that any such
meetings occurred Associates and security experts who worked with Smith on the initiative did
not believe that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers and were aware of no such
connection. si The investigation did not establish 'that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers
or that Smith, Ledeen, or other individuals in touch with the Trump Campaign ultimately obtained
the deleted Clinton ernails.

In sum, the investigation established that the GRU hacked into email accounts of persons
aAiliated with the Clinton Campaign, as well as the computers of thc DNC and DCCC. The GRU
then extiltrated data related to the 2016 election from these accounts and computers, and
disseminated that data through fictitious onlme personas (DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0) and later
through V/ikiLeal<s. The investigation also established that, the Trum Cam ai n dis la ed
interest in the WikiLeaks releases, and that
As
explain in V o lume I, Section V.B,inPa, the evidence was su icient to support computer-
intrusion and other char es a ainst GRU oBicers for their role in election-related hackin .
• a •

r'~ 8/31/16 Email, Smith to Smith.


'i Safion 3/20/1 8 302, at 3; Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 6.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

IV. RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT LINKS TO ANII CONTACTS V/ITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

*
The Office identified multiple contacts — "links,' in the words of the Appointment Order-
between Trump Campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government. The
Office investigated whether those contacts constituted a third avenue of attempted Russian
interference with or influence on the 2016 presidential election. In particular„ the investigation
examined whether these contacts involved or resulted in coordination or a c<mspiracy with the
Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the
Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available
information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.

This Section describes the prinoipal links between the Trump Campaign and individuals
overnm
with ties to the Russian g ent, including some contacts with Campaign officials or associates
that have been publicly reported to involve Russian contacts. Bach subsection begins with an
over'view of the Russian contact at issue and then describes in detail thc relevant facts, which are
generally presented in chronological order, beginning with the early months of the Campaign and
extending through the post-election, transition period.

A. Campaign Period (September 2015 -November 8,2016)

Russian-government-connected individuals and media entities began showing interest in


Trump's campmgn in the months after he announced his candidacy in June 2015, I Because
Trump's status as a public figurc at the time was attributable in large part to his prior business and
entertainment dealings, this Office investigated whether a busmess contact with Russia-linked
individuals and entities during the campaign period — the Trump Tower Moscow project, see
Volume I, Section IV.A. I, i vfm —led to or involved coordination of election assistance.

Outreach from individuals with ties to Russia continued in the. spring and summer of 2016,
when Trump was moving toward — and eventually becoming — the Republican nominee for
President. As set forth below, the Office also evaluated a series of links during this period:
outreach to tw o o f T r ump's then-recently named foreign policy advisors, including a
representation that Russia had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails (Volume I,
Sections, IV.A.2 dk IV.A.3); dealings with a D.C.-based think tank that specializes in Russia and
has connections with its goveriunent (Volume I, Section IV.A.4); a meeting at Trump Tower
between the Campaign and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on candidate Clinton that was "part of
Russia and its government's support for [Trump]" (Volume I, Section IV,A,5); events at the
Republican National Convention (Volume I, Section IV.A,6); post-Convention contacts between
Trump Campaign officials and Russia's ambassador to thc United States (Volume I, Section
IV.A.7); and contacts 'through campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who had previously worked for
a Russian oligarch and a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine (Volume I, Section IV.A.8).

tw For example, on August 18, 2015., on behalf of the editor-in-chief of the internet newspaper
Vzg/ycd, Georgi Asatryan emailed campaign press secretary Hope Hicks asking for a phone or in-person
candidate interview. 8/18/15 Email, Asatryan to Hicks. One day earlier, the publication's founder (and
former Russian parliamentarian) Konstantin Rykov had registered two Russian websites — Trump2016,ru
and DonaldTrump2016xu. No interview took place.
U,S. Department of Justice

1. Trum T o wer Moscow Pro'ect

The Trump Organization has pursued and completed projects outside the United States as
part of its real estate portfolio. Some projects have involved the acquisition and ownership
(through subsidiary corporate structures) of property. In other cases„ the Trump Organization has
executed licensing deals with real estate developers and management companies, often local to the
country where the p rojectw
as located.t's

Between at least 2013 and 2016, the Trump Organization explored a similar licensing deal
in Russia involving tbe construction of a Trump-branded property in Moscow. T he project,
commonly referred to as a '"Trump Tower Moscow" or *'Trump Moscow" project, anticipated a
combination of commercial, hotel, and residential properties all within the same build'ing.
Between 2013 and June 2016, several employees of the Trump Organization, including then-
president of the organization Donald J. Trump, pursued a Moscow deal with several Russian
counterparties. From the fall of 2015 until the middle of 2016, Michael Cohen spearheaded the
Trump Organization's pursuit of a Trump Tower Moscow project, including by reporting on the
project's status to candidate Trump and other executives in the Trump Organization. sc

a Tr ump Tower Moscow Venture wiN the Crocus Crroup(2013-2014)

The Trump Organization and the Crocus Group, a Russian real estate conglomerate owned
and controlled by Ares Agalarov„began discussing a Russia-based real estate project shortly after
tbe conclusion of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. i" t Donald J. Trump Jr. served as
the primary negotiator on behalf of the Trump Organization; Emm Agalarov (son of Aras
Agalarov) and Irakli "Ike" Kaveladze represented the Crocus Group during negotiations, ra with
the occasional assistance of Robert Goldstone.

In December 2013„Kaveladze and Trump Jr, negotiated and signed preliminary terms of

See, e.g., Interview of: Donald J. Trump, Jr, Senate Judiciary Committee, 115th Cong. 151-52
(Sept. 7, 2017) (discussing licensing deals of'specific projects),
" As noted in Volume I, Section III.D.1, supra„ in November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to
making false statements to Congress concerning, among other things, the duration of the Trump Tower
Moscow project. See Information $ 7(a), IInited States v. IvTtchael Cohen, I;18-cr-850 (S,D.N.Y. Nov, 29,
2018)„Doc. 2 (" Cohen Information*').
u See Interview of; Donald J. Trwnp, Jr, Senate Judiciary Committee, 115th Cong. 13 (Sept. 7,
2017) ("'Following the pageant the Trump Organization and Mr..Agalarov's company, Crocus Group, began
preliminarily discussion [sic] potential real estate projects in Moscow,"), As has been widely reported, the
Miss Universe pageant —which Trump co-owned at the time —was held at the Agalarov-owned Crocus
City Hall in Moscow in November 2013. Both groups were involved in organizing the pageant, and Ares
Agalarov's son Emin was a musical performer at thc event, which Trump attended.
Kaveladze 11/16f17 302, at 2, 4-6; OSC-
KAV 00385 (12/6f13 Email, Trump Jr. to Kaveladze k E. al arov).
293
U.S. Deparlment of Justice

an agreement for the Trump Tower Moscow project.see On December 23, 2013, alter discussions
with Donald J. Trump, the Trump Organization agreed to accept an arrangement whereby the
organization received a flat 3.5% commission on all sales, with no licensing fees or incentives.'
The parties negotiated a letter of intent during January and February 201 4.2ss

From January 2014 through November 2014, the Trump Organization and Crocus Group
discussed development plans for the Moscow project. Some time before January 24, 2014, the
Crocus Group sent the Trump Organization a proposal for a 800-unit, 194-meter building to be
constructed at an Agalarov-owned site in Moscow called "Crocus City," which had also been the
site of the Miss Universe pageant, 7 In February 2014, Ivanka Trump met with Emin Agalarav
and taured the Crocus City site during a visit to Moscow.rss From March 2014 through July 2014,
the groups discussed "design standards" and other architectural elements.+ For example, in July
2014, members of the Trump Organiz'ation sent Crocus Group counterparties questions about the
'*demographics of these prospective buyers" in the Crocus City area, the development of
n eighboring parcels in Crocus City, and concepts for redesigning portions af the building.s I n
August 2014, the Trump Organization requested specifications for a competing Marriott-branded
tower being built in Crocus City.' '

Begmning in September 2014, the Trump Organization stopped responding in a timely


fashion to correspondence and proposals fram the Crocus Group,"' Communications between the
two groups continued through November 20 14 with decreasing Irequency; what appears to be the
last communication is dated November 24, 2014. s The project appears not to have developed
past the planning stage, and no construction occurr'ed.

" OSC-KAV 00452 (12/23/13 Email, Trump Jr, to Kaveladze ge E. Agalarov),


rs See, e.g., OSC-KAV 01158 (Letter agreement signed by Trump Jr, 8: E. Agalarov); OSC-
KAV 01147 (1/20/14 Email, Kaveladze to Trump Jr, et al,).
~~ gee, e,g., OSC-KAV 00972 (10/14/14 Email, McGee to Kboo et al,) (email &am Crocus Group
contractor about specifications); OSC-KAV 00540 (1/24/14 Email, McGee to Trump Jr. et al.).
" gee OSC-KAV 00631 (2/5/14 Email, E. A alarov to Ivanka Tram Trump Jr. k Kaveladze);
Goldstone Facebook post, 2/4/1 4 (8;01 a.m.)
See, e.g., OSC-KAV 00791 (6/3/14 Email, Kaveladze ta Trump Jr, et al.; OSC-KAV 00799
(6/1 0/14 Email, Trump Jr. to Kaveladze et al.); OSC-KAV 00817 (6/1 6/14 Email, Trump Jr. to Kaveladze
et al.).
'w OSC-KAV 00870 (7/17/14 Email, Khoo to McGee et aL).
'" OSC-KAV 00855 (8/4/14 Email, Khoo to McGee et aL).
OSC-KAV 00'903(9/29/14 Email, Trapea ta McGee geKaveladze (noting last response wss on
August 26, 2014)),' OSC-KAV 00906 (9/29/14 Email, Kaveladze to Trope'a geMcGee (suggesfing silence
"proves my fear that those guys are bailing out of the pxoject")); OSC-KAV 00972 (10/14/14 Email,
McGee tc Khoo et al.) (email from Crocus Group contractor about development specifications')).
OSC-KAV 01140 (11/24/14 Email, Khoa ta McGee,et al;).

68
U.S. Department of Justice
(e)

L C onunanications tvith I. C . E x pert In v estment Company and Gi o rgt


Rtskhiiadze (Summer and Fall 2015)

In the late summer of 2015; the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing
a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater, a New York-
based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump
Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. at Sater had previously worked with the
Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had
explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump
Organization and therefore knew of the organization"s general interest in completing a deal
there. cs Sater had also served as an informal agent of the Trump Organization in Moscow
previously and had accompanied Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to Moscow in the mid-
2000s.'"

Sater contacted Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C, Expert), a
Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Uladimirovlch Rozov. S a t er
had known Rozov sinceapproximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of
Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City.sss Sater later contacted Rozov
and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I,C, Expert would
license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own.
Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another 'employee of I.C, Expert,s's

Cohen was the only Trump Organization representative to negotiate directly with I.C.
Expert or its agents. In approximately September 2015, Cohen obtained approval to negotiate with
I.C. Expert from candidate Trump, who was then president of the Trump Organization, Cohen
provided updates directly to Trump about the project throughout 2015 and into 2016, assuring him
the project was continuing. ' C o hen also discussed the Trump Moscow project with Ivanka
Trump as to design elements (such as possible architects to use for the project ") and Donald J.
Trump Jr, (about his experience in Moscow and possible involvement in the projects n) during the
fall of 2015.

Sater rcvided information to our Of6ce in two 2017 interviews conducted under a proffer
agreem
ent
305

Eater 9/19/1 7 302, at 1-2, 5.


" Sater 9/19/17 302, at 3.
Rozev 1/25/1 8 302, at 1.
'~ Rozov 1/25/1 8 302, at 1; see also 11/2/1 5 Email, Cohen to Rozov et al. (sending letter of intent).
" C ohen 9/12/18 302, at 1-2„4-6.
"' Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 5.
' Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 4-5.
U,S. Department of Justice

Also during the fall of 2015, Cohen communicated about the Trump Moscow proposal with
Giorgi Rtslduladze, a business executive who previously had been involved in a development deal
with the Trump Organization in Batumi, Georgia. is Cohen stated that he spoke to Rtskhiladze in
part because Rtskhiladze had pursued business ventures in Moscow, including a licensing deal with
the Agalarov-owned Crocus Grou, '4 On September 22, 2015, Cohen forwarded a preliirunary
design study for the Trump Mascow project to Rtskhiladze, adding "I look forward to your reply
about this spectacular project in Moscow." Rtskhiladze forwarded Cohen's email to an associate
and wrote, "[i] f we could organize the meeting in New York at the highest level of the Russian
Government and Mi'. Trump this project would definitely receive the worldwide attention.'o'

On September 24, 2015, Rtskhiladze sent Cohen an attachment that he described as a


proposed "[1]otter to the Mayor of Moscow I'rom Trump org," explaining that "[w]e need ta send
this letter to the Mayor of Moscow (second guy in Russia} he 'is aware of the patential project and
will pledge his support,"s's In a second email ta Cohen sent the same day, Rtskhiladze provided a
translation of the letter, which described the Trump Moscow project as a "symbol of stranger
economic, business and cultural relationships between New York and Moscow and therefore
United States and the Russian Federation."s' O n September 27, 2015, Rtskhiladze sent another
email to Cohen, proposing that the Trump Organization partner on the Trump Moscow project with
"Global Development Group LLC," which he described as being controlled by Michail Posikhin, a
Russian architect, and Simon Nizharadze,"' Cohen told the Office that he ultimately declined the
proposal and instead continued to work with I C. Expert, the company represented by Felix Satori is

c. Letter of Intent and Contacts to If ossian Governntent (October 2N5-Jonttuy


2016)

i. Trump Signs the Letter of Intent on behalf of the Tramp Organrkatton

Between approximately October 13, 2015 and November 2, 2015, the Trump Organization
(through its subsidiary Trump Acquisition, LLC) and I.C. Expert completed a letter of intent (LOI)
for a Trump Moscow property, The LOI, signed by Trump far the Trump Organization and Rozov
an behalf of I.C. Expert, was "intended to facilitate further discussions" in order to "attempt ta

Rtskhiladze was a U.S.-based executive of the Georgian company Silk Road Group. In
approximately 2011, SHk Road Gmup and the Trump Organization entered into a licensing agreement to
build a Trump-branded property in Batumi, Georgia. Rtskhiladze was also
' involved m discussions for a
-t • »» • ' » a» » K~ » . » » O»»»
»»'• 'm »R».m>»,~

" C ohen 9/12/18 302, at 12; see also Rtskhiladze 5/10/18 302, at 1.
"~ 9/22/I 5 Email, Rtskhiladze to Nizharadze.
" 9/24/1 5Email, Rtskhiladze to Cohen.
'~ 9/24/I 5 Email, Rtskhiladze to Cohen.
'" 9/27/1 5 Email, Rtskhiladze to Cohen,
" C ohen 9/12/18 302, at 12,

70
U.S. Department of Justice

enter into a mutually acceptable agreement" related to the Trump-branded project in Moscow.'~c
The LOI contemplated a development with residential, hotel, commercial, and office components,
and called for "[a]pproximately 250 6rst class, luxury residential condomimums," as well as "[o]ne
first class, luxury hotel consisting of approximately 15 floors,and containing not fewer than 150
hotel rooms, *'z' For the residential snd commercial portions of the project„ the Trump
Organization would receive between I'/o and 5'%%d of all condominium sales, z plus 3'%%d of all rental
and other revenue.sz' For the project's hotel portion, the Trump Organization would receive a base
fee of 3%%d of gross operating revenues for the first five years and 4%%dthereafter, plus a separate
incentive fee of 20~/o of operating profit. 's4 Under the LOI, the Trump Organization also would
receive a $4 million "up-&out fed" prior to groundbreaking. s' Under these 'terms, the Trump
Organization stood to earn substantial sums over the lifetime of the project, without assuming
significant liabilities or financing commitments.sis

On November 3,, 2015, the day after the Trump Organization transmitted the LOI, Sater
emailed Cohen suggesting that the Trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate
Trump "s chances at being elected, writing

Buddy our boy can become Fresident of the USA and we can engineer it, I will get all of
Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.... M ichael, Futin gets on stage
with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, and Donald owns th'e republican
nomination. And possibly beats Hillary and our boy is in... . IVe will manage this process
better than anyone. You and I will get Donald and Vladimir on a stage together very
shortly. That the game changer.s

Later that day, Sater followed up:

Donald doesn't stare down, he negotiates and understands the economic issues and Putin
only want to deal with a pragmatic leader, and a sliccessful business man is a good
candidate for someone who knows how to negotiate. "Business, politics, whatever it all is
the same for someone who knows how to deal"

~' l l/2/1 5 Email, Cohen to Rczov et al. (attachment) (hereinafter "LOI"); see also10/1 3/15 Email,
Sater to Cohen /k Davis (attaching proposed letter of intent).
x uI,QI p, 2
s' The LOI called for the Trump Organization to receive 5~/o of all gross sales up to, $100 million;
4'I of all gross sales from $100 migion to $250 million; 3'%%d of ail gross sales from $250 million to $500
million,' 2'lo of all gross sales from $500 million to $1 billion; and I~%%dof all gross sales over $1 billion.
LOI, Schedule 2.
~i' LOI, Schedule 2,

s LOI, Schedule 1.
'~r LOT, Schedule 2,

Cohen 9/12/Ig 302, at 3.


'~ 11/3/15 Email, Eater to Cohen (12:14 p.m.).

71
U.S, Depariment of Justice
//

I think I can get Putin to 'say that at the Trump Moscow press conference.
If he says it we own this election. Americas most difficult adversary agreeing that Donald
i s a gaod guy to negotiate... .
We can own this election.
Michael my next steps are very sensitive with Putins very very close people, we can pull
this off,
Michael lets go, 2 boys from Brooklyn getting a USA president elected. This is goad really
good.szs

According to Cohen, he'did not consider the political import of the Trump Moscow project
to the 2016 U,S. presidential election at the time. Cohen also did not recaE candidate Trump or
anyone affiliated with the Trump Campaign discussing the political implicatians af the Trump
Moscow project with him. H owever, Cohen recalled conversations with Trump in which the
candidate suggested that his campaign would be a signiftcant uinfomerciain for Trump-branded
properties.' s

i i. Post-LOI Contacts with Indivtdttais in Russia

Given the size of the Trump Moscow project, Sater and Cohen believed the project required
approval (whether express or implicit) from the Russian national government, including fmm the
Presidential Administration of Russians S ater stated that he therefare began to contact the
Presidential Administration tlnaugh another Russian business contact. ' I n early negotiations
with the Trump Organization, Sater had alluded to the need for government approval and his
attempts to set up meetings with Russian officials, On October 12, 2015, for example, Sater wrote
to Cohen that "all we need is Putin on board and we are golden" and that a '*meeting with Putin
'
and top deputy is tentatively set for the 14th [af Octoberj.'a •

this meeting
was being coordinated by associates in Russia and that he had no djrect mteraction with the Russian
gavemment, '

Approximately a month latet', after the LOI had been signed, Lans Erchova emailed Ivanka
Trump on behalf of Erchova's then-husband Dmitry Klokov, ta offer Klokov's assistance to the
Trump Campaign.s'4 Klokov was at that Eme Director of External Communications for pJSC
Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System, a large Russian electricity transmission

ns 11/3/I 5 Entail, Sater ta Cohen (12AO p.m.).


'~~ Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 3-4; Cohen 8/7/18 302, at 15.

Sater 12/1 5/17 302, at 2.


Sater 12/15/I 7 302„at 3-4.
ms 10/12/15 Email, Sater to Cohen (8;07 a.m.).
333

Ivauka Trump received an email from a woman who identified herself as "Lans E. Alexander,"
which said in part, "If you ask anyone who knows Russian ta google my husband Dmitry Klokov, you' ll
see who he is close to and that he has done Putin's political campaigns." 11/16/15 Email, Emhava to
I. Trump.
U.S, Department of Justice

company, and had been previously employed as an aide and press secretary to Russia's energy
minister. Ivanka Trump forwarded the email to Cohen. ' H e told the Office that, after receiving
this inquiry, he had conducted an internet search for Klokov's name and concluded (incorrectly)
that Klokov was a former Olympic weightlifter.'ss

Between November 18 and 19, 2015, Klokov and Cohen had at least one telephone call
and exchanged several emails, Describmg himself in emails to Cohen as a "trusted person" who
could offer the Campaign "political synergy" and "synergy on a government level," Klokov
recommended that Cohen travel to Russia to speak with him and an unidentified intermediary.
Klokov said that those conversations could facilitate a later meeting in Russia between the
candidate and an individual Klokov described as "our person of interest." ' I n an email to the
Office, Erchova later identified the "person of interest" as Russian President Vladimir Putin.'

In the telephone call and follow-on emails with Klokov, Cohen discussed his desire to use
a near-term trip to Russia to do site surveys and talk over the Trump Moscow project w]th local
developers. Cohen registered his willingness also to meet with Klokov and the unidentified
intermediary, but was emphatic that all meetings in Russia involving him or candidate Trump-
including a possible meeting between candidate Trump and Putin — would need to be "in
conjunction with the development and an official visit" with the Trump Organization receiving a
formal invitation to visit,s ( K l okov had written previously that "the visit [by candidate Trump
to Russia] has to be informal.")'

Klokov had also previously recommended to Cohen that he separate their negotiations over
a possible meeting between Trump and "the person of interest" from any existing busmess tracks4'
Re-emphasizing that his outreach was not done on behalf of any business, Klokov added in second
email to Cohen that, if publicized well, such a meeting could have "phenomenaV' impact "in a
business dimension" and that the "person of interest['s'j" "most important support" could have
significant ramifications for the "level of projects and their capacity." Klokov concluded by tellmg

"' I I/16/15 Email, I. Trump to Cohen.


'i~ Cohen 8/7/18 302, at 17,. During his interviews with the Office, Cohen still appeared to believe
that the Klokov he spoke with was that Olympian. The investigation, however, established that the email
address used to cominunicate with Cohen belongs to a different Dmitry Klokov, as described above.
'" 1l/18/15 Email, Klokov to Cohen (6:51 a.m.).
"' In July 2018, the Office received an unsolicited email purporting to be from Erchova, in which
she wrote that "[a]t the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 I was asked by my ex husband to contact Ivanka
Trump.. . and offer cooperation to Trump's team on behalf of the Russian officials," 7/27/18 Email,
Erchova to Special Counsel's Office. The email claimed that the officials wanted to offer candidate Trump
"land in Crimea among other things and unofficial meeting wi'th Putin." Id . In order to vet the email's
claims, the Office responded requesting more details. The Office did not receive any reply.
"' I l/18/I 5 Email, Cohen to Klokov (7:15 a.m.).
" 1 1/18/15 Email, Klokov to Cohen (6:51 a.m.).
i"' 11/18/15 Email, Klokov to Cohen (6:51 am.) ("I would suggest separating youi riegotiations
and our proposal to meet. I assure you, atter the meeting level of projects and their capacity can be
completely different, having the most important support."),
U.S. Department of Justice

Cohen that there was "no bigger warranty in any project than (the] consent of the person of
interest." ~ Cohen rejected the proposal, saying that "[c]urrently our LOI developer is in talks
with Vp's Ch'ief of Staff and ai'ranging a formal invite for the two to meet.es4s This email appears
to be their final eitchange, and the investigation did not identify evidence that Cohen brought
Klokov's initial offer of assistance to the Campaign's attention or that anyone associated with the
Tmmp Organization or the Campaign dealt with Klokov at a later date. Cohen explained that he
did not pursue the proposed meeting because he was already woriung on the Moscow Project with
Sater, who Cohen understood to have his own connections to the Russian government.i

By late December 2015, however, Cohen was complaining that Sater had not been able to
use those connections to set up the promised meeting with Russian government officials. Cohen
told Sater that he was "setting up the meeting myself.'" On January 11, 2016, Cohen emailed
the office of Dmitry Peskov, the Russian government's pxess secretary, indicating that he desired
contact with Sergei Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff. Cohen erroneously used the email address
"Pr~eskova@pxpress.gof.ru" instead of "Pr~eskova®prpxess.gov.ru," so the email apparently
did not g o t h rough.'i On J a nuary 14 , 2 016, Cohen emailed a d i f ferent address
(info®prpress.gov.ru) with the following message:

Dear Mr. Peskov,


Over the past few months, I have been woxking with a company based in Russia regarding
the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City,
Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has
stalled. As this pxoject is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance.
I respectfully request someone, preferably you; contact me so that I might discuss the
specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals.
I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you soon,s 7

Two days latex, Cohen sent an email to Pr~eskova®prpxess.gov.ru, repeating his request to speak
witll Sei'gei Ivaiiov.

Cohen testified to Congress, and initially told the Office, that he did not recall receiving a
response to this email inquiry and that he decided to terminate any further work on the Trump
Moscow project as of January 2016. Cohen later admitted that these statements were false. In

"' l l/19/1 5 Email, Klokov to Cohen (7:40 a.m.).


'i' l l/1 9/I 5 Email, Cohen to Klokov (12:56 p.m,).
'44 Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 12.
' ' FS00004 (12/50/15 Text Message; Cohen to Sater (6:17 p.m.)).
'4i 1/11/16 Email, Cohen tc pr~eskova®pxpxess.gof.xu (9:12 a.m.').
'"' 1/14/16 Email, Cohen to info@prpress.gov.ru (9i21 a.m.).
i" 1/16/16 Email, Cohen to pr~eskovagprpress.gov,ru (10:28 a.m.),

74
U,S, Department of Justice

fact, Cohen had received (and recalled receiving) a response to his inquiry, and he continued to
work on and update candidate Trump on the project through as late as June 2016.' '

On January 20, 2016, Cohen received an email from Elena Poliakova, Peskov's personal
assistant. Writing from her personal email account, Poliakova stated that she had been trying to
reach Cohen and asked that he call her on the personal number that she provided.ssc Shortly after
receiving Poliakova's email, Cohen called and spoke to her for 20 minutes. " Cohen described to
Poliakova his position at the Trump Organization and outlined the proposed Truinp Moscow
pr'oject, including information about the Russian counterparty with which the Trump O rgan
ization
had parmered. Cohen requested assistance in'moving the project forward, both in securing land to
build the project and with financing, According to Cohen, Poliakova asked detailed questions and
took notes, stating that she would need to follow up with others in Russia. ss

Cohen could not recall any direct follow-up from Poliakova or from any other
representative of the Russian government, nor did the Office identify any evidence of direct
follow-up. However, the day after Cohen's call with Poliakova, Sater texted Cohen, asking him
to "[c]all me when you have a few minutes to chat... It's about Putin they called today,'0's Sater
then sent a draft invitation for Cohen to visit Moscow to discuss the Trump Moscow project,'s"
along with a note to "[t]ell me if the letter is good as amended by me or make whatever changes
you want and send it back to me.'nss After a further round of edits, on January 25, 2016, Sater
sent Cohen an invitation — signed by Andrey Ryabinskiy of the company MHJ — to travel to
"Moscow for a working visit" about the "prospects of development and the construction business
in Russia," "the various land plots available suited for construction of this enormous Tower," and
"the opportunity to co-ordinate a follow up visit to Moscow by Mr, Donald Trump."" A c cording

Cohen Information $$ 4, 7. Cohen's interactions with President Trump and the President's
lawyers when preparing his congmssional testimony are discussed further in Volume II. See Vol. II, Section
II.K.3, /nPa.
1/20/16 Email, Poliakova to Cohen (5;57 a.m.) ('"Mr. Cohen[,] I can't get through to both your
phones. Pls, call me.*').
sn Telephonerecords show a 20-minute callon January 20 2016 between Cohen and the number
Poliakova provided in her email. Call Records of Mchael Cohen After
the call, Cohen saved Poliakova's contact Information in his Tnunp Organization Outlook contact list,
I/20/16 Cohen Microsoft Outlook Entry (6:22 a.m.).
" C ohen 9/12/18 302, at 2-3,
's' FS00011 (I/21/16 Text Messages, Sater to Cohen).
'rs The invitation purported to b'e from Genbank, a Russian bank that was„according to Sater,
worki'ng at the behest of a larger bank, VTB, and would consider providing financing. FS00008 (12/31/15
Text Messages, Sater its Cohen). Additimml information about Genbank can be foundirrPa.
ss' FS00011 (I/21/16 Text Message, Sater to Cohen (7;44 p.m.)); I/21/16 Einail, Sater to Cohen
(6:49 p.m,).
1/25/1 6 Email, Sater to Cohen (12.'01 p.m.) (attachment).
U.S, Department of Justice

to Cohen, he elected not to travel at the time because of concerns about the lack of concrete
proposals about land plots that could be considered as options for the project, s

d. Discussions about Itussia Travel by it&'chacl Cohen or Candidate Trump


(December 20I5- June 2016)

i. Sater 's Overtur es to Cohen to Travel to Itussia

The late January communic'ation was neither the first nor the last time that Cohen
contemplated visiting Russia in pursuit of' the Trump Moscow project. Begiiming in late 2015,
Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump
Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing
partners. In December 2015, Sater sent Cohen a number of emails about logistics for traveling to
Russia for meetings.sss On December 19, 2015, Sater wmte:

Please call me I have Evgeney [Dvoskin] on the other line.[' ] He needs a copy of your
and Donald's passports they need a scan of every page of the passports. Invitations tk
Visas will be issued this week by VTB Bank to discuss financing for Trump Tower
Moscow. Politically neither Putins office nor Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot issue
invite, so they are inviting commercially/ business. VTB is Russia's 2 biggest bank and
VTB Bank CEO Andrey kostin, will be at all meetings with Putin so that it is a business
meeting not political. We will be invited to Russian consulate this week to receive invite
dc have visa issued.

In response„Cohen texted Sater an image of his own passport. ' Cohen told the Office that at one
point he requested a copy of candidate Trump's passport from Rhona Graff, Trump's executive
assistant at the Trump Organization, and that Graff later brought Trump's passport to Cohen's

in Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 6-7.


ni Sec, e,g., 12/1/15 Email, Sater to Cohen (12:41 p.m.) ('"Please scan and send me a copy of your
passport for the Russian Ministry cf Foreign Affairs.'').
" T o ll records show that Sater was speaking to Evgeny Dvoskin. Call Records of Felix Sater
Dvoskin is an executive of Gcnbank, a large bank with lending focused
in Crimea, ine . A t t e time that Satcr provided this financing letter to Cohen, Genbank was subject to
U.S. government sanctions, sce Russia/Ukraine-related Sanctions and Identifications, Office of Foreign
Assets Control (Dec, 22, 2015), available at https:/lwww.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-
Bnforccment/Pages/20151222.aspx. Dvoskin, who had been deported from the United States in 2000 for
criminal activity, was under indictmeiit in the United States for stock fraud under the aliases Eugene Sluskcr
and Gene Shustar. See United States x Itisso, ct al., 2:03-cr-63 (E,D.N, Y. Feb. 6, 2003).
12/19/15 Email, Sater to Cohen (10:50 a.m.); FS00002 (12/19/15 Text Messages, Eater to
Cohen, (10:53 a,m.).
'" FS00004 (12/19/15 Text Message, Cohen to Sater); ERT 0198-256 (12/19/15 Text Messages,
Cohen &. Sater).

76
U.S,, Department of Justice

office.'s The investigation did not, however, establish that the passport was forwarded to Sater, 4

Into the spring of 2016, Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow in
connection with the Trump Moscow project. On April 20, 2016, Sater wrote Cohen, "[t]he People
. wanted to know when you are coming7"sss On May 4, 2016,, Sater followed up'1

I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after
the convention. I said I believe, but don't know for sure, that's it's probably after the
convention. Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but
the 2 big guys where [sic] the question, I said I would confirm and revert... . L et me
know about If I was right by saying I believe after Cleveland and also when you want to
speak to them and possibly fly over.ss'

Cohen responded, "My trip before Cleveland. Trump once he becomes the nominee after the
convention."

The day after this exchange, Sater tied Cohen's travel to Russia to the St, Petersburg
International Economic Forum (" Forum" ), an annual event attended by prominent Russian
politicians and businessmen. Sater told the Office that he was informed by a business associate
that Peskov wanted to invite Cohen to the Forum.' O n May 5, 2016, Sater wrote to Cohen:

Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia's
Davos it's June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to
either Putin or Medvedev, as they are not sure if I or both will be there.
This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well.
He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to
discuss[,]ass

The following day, Sater asked Cohen to confirm those dates would work for him to travel; Cohen
wrote back, "[wjorks for me.'"s'

s s Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 5,


'" On December21, 2015, Sater sent Cohen a text message that read, "They need a copy of DJT
passport," to which Cohen responded, "After I return I'rom Moscow with you with a date for him." FS00004
(12/21/15 Text Messages, Cohen 4 Sater).
s~ FS00014 (4/20/16 Text Message, Sater to Cohen (9.06 p.m.)).
' ' FS00015 (5/4/16 Text Message, Sater to Cohen (7:38 p.m.)).
"' FS00015(5/4/16 Text Message, Cohen to Sater '(8:03 p,m.)).
'~ Sater 12/I 5/17 302, at 4.
s FS00016 (5/5/I 6 Text Messages, Sater to Cohen (6:26 k 6:27 a.m.)).
'" FS00016 (5/6/1 6 Text Messages, Cohen Je Sater).

77
U.S. Department of Justice

On June 9, 2016, Sater sent Cohen a notice that he (Sater) was completing the badges for
the Forum, adding, "Putin is there on the 17th very strong chance you will meet him as welL"'»'
On June 13, 2016, Sater forwarded Cohen an invitation to the Forum signed by the Director of the
Roscongress Foundation, the Russian entity organizing the Forum. Sa ter also sent Cohen a
Russian visa application and asked him to send two passport photos.s7 According to Cohen, the
invitation gave no indication that Peskov had been involved in inviting him. Cohen was concerned
that Russian officials were not actually involved or were not interested in meeting with him (as
Sater had alleged), and so he decided not to go to the Forum,'+ On June 14, 2016, Cohen met
Sater in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York and informed him that he would not be
traveling at that time.

ii. Candidate Trttmp s Opportttnittes to Travel to Jtussia

The investigation identified evidence that, during the period the Trump Mosoow project
was under consideration, the possibility of candidate Trump visiting Russia arose in two contexts.

First, in interviews with the Office, Cohen stated that he discussed the subject of traveling
to Russia with Trump twice.' once in late 2015; and again in spring 2016.s7s According to Cohen,
Trump indicated a willingness to travel if it would assist the project significantly. On one occasion,
Trump toid Cohen to speak with then-campaign matiager Corey Lewandowski to coordinate the
candidate's schedule, Cohen recalled that he spoke with Lewandowski, who suggested that they
speak again when Cohen had actual dates to evaluate. Cohen indicated, however, that he knew
that travel prior to the Republican National Convention would be impossible given the candidate's
preexisting commitments to the Campaign,

Second, like Cohen, Trump received and turned down an invitation to the St. Petersburg
International Economic Forum. In late December 2015, Mira Duma—a contact of Ivanka Trump's
from the fashion industry — first passed along invitations for Ivanka Trump and candidate T rump
from Sergei Prikhodko, a Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.sw On January 14,
2016, Rhona Graff sent an emedl to Duma stating that Trump was "honored to be asked to
participate in the highly prestigious" Forum event, but that he would "have to decline" the
invitation given his "very grueling and full travel schedule" as a presidential candidate. s Graff

'w FSOOQ18(6/9/16 Text Messages, Sater k Cohen).


en 6/I 3/I 6 Email, Sater to Cohen (2:10 p.m.)
'ti FS00018 (6/13/16 Text Message, Sater to Cohen (2:20 p.m,)); 6/13/16 Email, Sater to Cohen.
"" Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 6-8.
"4 FS00019 (6/14/16 Text Messages, Cohen tk Sater (12:06 and 2:50 p.m.)),
' ' Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 2.

Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 7.


' ' l2/21/15 Email, Mira to Ivanka Tmmp (6;57 a.m.) (attachments); TRUMPORG 16 Q00057
(I/7/16 Email, I. Trump to Oraff (9:18 a.m.)).
iw 1/14/I 6 Email, Graff to Mire.

78
U.S. Department of Justice
//

asked Duma whether she recommended that Graff "send a krmal note to the Deputy Prime
Minister" declining his invitation; Duma replied that a formal note would be "great."'ts

It does not appear that Graff prepared that note immediately. According to written answers
from President Trump,sta Graff received an email from Deputy Prime Minister Prikhodko on
March 17, 2016, again inviting Trump to participate in the 2016 Forum in St. Petersburg.s" Two
weeks later, on March 31, 2016, Graff prepared for Trump's signature a two-paragraph letter
declining the invitation.s's The letter stated that Trump's "schedule has become extremely
demanding" because of the presidential campaign, that he "already ha[d] several commitments in
the United States" for the time of the Forum, but that he otherwise "would have gladly given every
consideration to attending such an important event.'uss Graff forwarded the letter to another
executive assistant at the Trump Organization with instructions to print the document on letterhead
for Trump to sign:ss4

At approximately the same time that the letter was being prepared, Robert Foresman —a
New York-based investment banker — began reaching out to Graff to secure an in-person meeting
with candidate Trump, According to Foresman, he had been asked by Anton Kobyakov, a Russian
presidential aide involved with 'the Roscongress Foundation, to see if Trump could speak at the
Forum. " F o resman first emailed Graff on March 31, 2016, following a phone introduction
brokered thmugh Trump business associate Mark Burnett (who pmduced the television show The
Apprenrfce). In his email, Foresman referenced his long-standing personal and professional
expertise in Russia and Ukraine, his work setting up an early "private channel" between Vladimir
*'
Putin and former U.S. President George W. Bush, and an "approach he hadreceived fmm "senior
Kremlin oflicials" about the candidate, Foresman asked Graff for a meeting with the candidate,
Corey Lewandowski, or "'another relevant person" to discuss this and other "concrete things"
Foresman felt uncomfortable discussing over "unsecure emaiL" s O n A pril 4, 2016, Gruff
forwarded Foresman's meeting request to Jessica Macchia, another executive assistant
to Trump.ssr

' ' I/15/16 Email, Mire to Graff.


as As explained in Volume II and Appendix C, on September 17, 2018, the Offrce sent written
questions to the President's counsel, On November 20, 2018, the President prodded written answers to
those questions through counsel,
su Written Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018), at 17 (Response to Question IV,
Part (e)) ("[D]ocuments show that Ms. Graf'f prepar'ed for my signature a brief response declirung the
invitation."),
s" Written Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018), at 17 (Response to Question IV, Part
(e)),' see olro TRUMPORG 16 000134 (unsigned letter dated March 31, 2016).
su TRUMPORG 16 000134 (unsigned letter).
~ TRUMPORG 16 000133 (3/31/16 Email, Graff to Maechia).
'" Foresman 10/17/18 3tr2, at 3P.
" See TRUMPORG 16 00136 (3/31/I 6 Email, Foresman to Graffl; see also F oresman 10/17/I 8
302, at 3-4.
s'" See TRUMPORG 16 00136 (4/4/16 Email, Graff to Macchia).
U.S. Department of Justice

With no response I'orthcoming, Foresman twice sent reminders to Graff — first on April 26
and again on April 30, 2016. Gr aff sent an apology to Foresman and forwarded his April 26
email (as well as his initial March 2016 email) to Lewandowski. rs On May 2, 2016, Graff
forwarded Foresman's April 3Q email — which suggested an alternative meeting with Donald
Trump Jr, or Eric Trump so that Foresman could convey to them information that "should be
conveyed to [the candidate] personally or [to] someone [the candidate] absolutely trusts" — to
policy advisor Stephen Miller. s

No communications or other evidence obtained by the Office indicate that the Trump
Campaign learned that Foresman was reaching out to invite the candidate to the Forum or that the
Campaign otherwise followed up with Foresman until slier the election, when he interacted with
the Transition Team as he pursued a possible position in the incoming Administration. in When
interviewed by the Office, Foresinan denied that the specific "appmach" from "senior Kremlin
officials" noted in his March 31, 2Q16 email was anything other 'than Kobyakov's invitation to
Roscongress. According to Foresman, the "concrete things" he referenced in the same email were
a combination of the invitation itself, Foresman's personal perspectives on the invitation and
Russia policy in general, and details of a Ukraine plan supported by a U.S. think tank (East'West
Institute), Foresman told the Office that Kobyakov had extended similar invitations through him
to another Republican presidential candidate and one other politician. Foresman also said that
Kobyakov had asked Foresman to invite Trump to speak after that other presidential candidate
withdrew from the race and the other politician's participation did not work out, Fin ally,
Foresman claimed to have no plans to establish a back channel involving Trump, stating the
reference to his involvement in the IIush-Putin back channel was meant to burnish his credentials
to the Campaign. Foresman commented that he had not recognized any of the experts announced
as Trump's foreign policy team in Maich 2016, and wanted to secure an in-person meeting with
the candidate to share his professional background and policy views, including that Trump should
decline Kobyakov's invdation to speak at the Forum.s s

2, Geor ePa ado oulos

George Papadopoulos was a foreign policy advisor to the Trump Campaign from March

See TRUMPORG 16 00137 (4/26/16 Email, Foresman to Graff),' TRUMPORG 16 00141


(4/30/16 Email, Forcsman to Graff).
"s See TRUMPORG 16 00139 (4/27/16 Email, Graff to Foresman); TRUMPORG 16 00137
(4/27/16 Email, Graff to Lewandowski}.
s' TRUMPORG 16 00142 (5/2/16 Email, Graff to S. Miller); see also TRUMPORG 16 00143
(5/2/16 Email, Graff tc S. Miller) (tbrwsrding March 2016 email from Foresman).
' Fcresman"s contacts during the transition period are discussed further in Volume I, Section
IV,B.3, infm.
's' Foresman 10/17/18 302, at 4.
"' Foresman 10/17/1 8 302„at S-9.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

2016 to early October 2016,'ss In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based
professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud's return from a trip to Moscow, that the
Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.
One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign
governm
ent that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that
it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous r'elease of information that woul'd be
damaging to candidate Clinton.

Papadopoulos shared information about Russian "dirt" with people outside of the
Campaign, and the Office investigated whether be also provided it to a Campaign official.
Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials with whom he interacted told the Office that they did
' not recall that Papadopoulos passed them the information. Throughout therelevant period of time
and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationale
to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Rus'sian g overnm
ent.
That meeting never
caine 'to pass.

a Origins of Campaign Work

In March 2016,, Papadopoulos became a foreign policy advisor to the Trump Campaign.ss'
As early as the summer of 2015, he had sought a role as a policy advisor to the Campaign but, in
a September 30, 2015 email, he was told that the Campaign was not hiring policy advisors.see In
late 2015, Papadopoulos obtained a paid position on the campaign of Republican presidential
candidate Ben Carson.ssi

Although Carson remained in the presidential race until early March 2016, Papadopoulos
had stopped actively working for his campaign by early February 2016. A t th at time,
Papadopoulos reached out to a contact at the London Centre of International Law Practice
(LCILP), which billed itself as a "unique institution.. . c omprising high-level professional
international law practitioners, dedicated to the advancement of global legal knowledge and the
practice of international law." Pa padopoules said that he had finished his role with the Carson

s' Papadopoulos met with our Office for debriefings on several occasions in the summer and fall
of 2017, atter he was arrested and charged in a sealed criminal complaint with making false statements in
a January 2017 FBI interview about, inter alia, the timing, extent, and nature of his interactions and
communications with Joseph Mifsud and two Russian nationalsi Giga Polonskaya and Ivan Timofeev,
Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to an information charging him with
making false statements to the FBI, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 8 1001(a).
d Tr anscript of D onald Trump's /deeting with the Washington J'osi Editorial Board,
Washington Post (Mar. 21, 2016).
"' 7/15/15 LinkedIn Message, Papadopoulos to Lewandowski (6.'57 a.m.); 9/30/15 Email, Glassner
to Papadopoulos (7:42;21 a.m,).
sn Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 2.
'w Papadopoulos 8/I 0/I 7 302, at 2; 2/4/16 Email„Papadopoulos to Idris.
'w London Cenne of International Law Practice, at https:/hvww, Icilp.org/ (via web,archive.org).

81
U.S. Department of Justice

campaign and asked if LCILP was hiring.4 ' I n early February, Papadopoulos agreed to join
LCILP and anived in London to begin worksm

As he was taking his position at LCILP, Papadopoulos contacted Trump campaign manager
Corey Lewandowsid via LinkedIn and emailed campaign official Michael Glassner about his
interest in joining the Tnunp Campaign." On M aroh 2, 2016, Papadopoulos sent Glassner
another message reiterating his interest ies Glassner passed along word of Papadopoulos's interest
to another campaign official, Joy Luti',s, who notified Papadopoulos by email that she had been
told by Glassner to introduce Papadopoulos to Sam Clevis, the Trump Cainpaign's national co-
chair and chief policy advisor.

At the time of Papadopoulos's March 2 emad, the media was criticizing the Trump
Campaign for lack of experienced foreign policy or national security advisors within its ranks.4 s
To address that issue, senior Campaign officials asked Clevis to put.a foreign policy team together
on short notice. ' A f ter receiving Papadopoulos's name from Lutes, Clevis performed a Google
semch on Papadopoulos, learned that he had worked at the Hudson Institute, and believed that he
had credibility on energy issues. On Ma rch '3, 2016, Clevis arranged to speak with
Papadopoulos by phone to discuss Papadopoulos joinmg the Campaign as a foreign policy advisor,
and on March 6, 2016, the two spoke.4 s Papadopoulos recalled that Russia was mentioned as a
topic, and he understood Irom the conversation that Russia would be an important aspect of the
Campaign's foreign policy. s At the end of the conversation, Clovis offered Papadopoulos a role
as a foreign policy advisor to the Campaign, and Papadopoulos accepted the offer.4'

h. Initial Rassia-Relaled Contacts

Approximately a week after signing on as a foreign policy advisor, Papadopoulos traveled

4" 2/4/16 Email, Papadopoulos te Idris.


" 2/5/16 Email, Idris to Papadopoulos (6.11:25, p.m.); 2/6/16 Email, Idrls to Papsdopoulos
(5',34:15 p.m.).
2/4/16 LinkedIn Message, Papadopoulos to Lewsndowski (1:28 p.m.); 2/4/16 Email,
Papadopoulos to Glassner (2:10:36 p.m,),
ae 3/2/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Glassner (11:17:23 a.m.).
i' 3/2/1 6 Email, Lutes to Papadopoulos (10'.08:15 p.m.).
~i Clovis 10/3/1 7 302 (1 of 2), at 4,
@s
Clavis 10/3/17 302 (1 of 2), at 4.
407

(6:05:47 p.m.),
4w 3/6/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Clovis (4:24i21 p.m.).
4w Statement of Offense $ 4, United Statesv. George Papadopoidos, 1:17-cr-1 82 (D.D.C. Oct. 5„
2017), Doc. 19 ('Papacfopoulos Statement of Offense" ).
"' Papadopoulos 8/10/17302, at2.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

to Rome, Italy, as part of his duties with LCILP.»" The purpose of the trip was to meet officials
affiliated with Link Campus University, a for-profit institution headed by a former Italian
governm
ent official.» s During the visit, Papadopoulos was introduced to Joseph Mifsud.

Mifsud is a Maltese national who worked as a professor at the London Academy of


Diplomacy in London, England.»is Although Mifsud worked out of London and was also affiliated
with LCILP, the encounter in Rome was the first time that Papadopoulos met him."' M i f sud
maintained various Russian contacts while living in London, as described further below. Among
his contacts was ,«is a one-time employee of the IRA, the entity that carried out
tl g i * i 1 ig i V I I g 0 II, g i . g g ~ d g g gg
2016, Mifsud and discussed p ossibly meeting in Russia. T he
investigation did not i anti e v idence of them meetmg. Later, in the spring of 2016,
was also in contact that was linked to an employee of the Russian
Ministry of Defense, and that account h o v erlapping contacts with a group of Russian military-
controlled Facebook accounts that included accounts used to promote the DCLeaks releases in the
course of the GRU's hack-and-release operations (see Volume Ig Section III,B, I, supra).

According to Papadopoulos, Mifsud at first seemed uninterested in Papadopoulos when


they met in Rome»'s After Papadopoulos informed Mifsud about his role in the Trump Campaign,
however, Mifsud appeared to take greater interest in Papadopoulos.»' The two discussed Mifsud's
European and Russian contacts and had a general discussion about Russia; Mifsud also offered to
intmduce Papadopoulos to E uropean leaders and others with contacts to t h e Russian
governm
ent.»' i Papadopoulos told the Office that Mifsud" s claim of substantial connections with
Russian government officials interested Papadopoulos, who thought that such connections could
increase his importance as a policy advisor to the Trump Campaign. '

"" Papadopoulos g/10/17 302, at 2-3; Papadopoulos Statement of Offense $ 5,


Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 2-3; Stephanie Kirchgaessner et a(„J o seph Mifiud; more
questions thai«atgsuters about mystery professor linked to Russia, The Guardian (Oct, 31, 2017) (" Link
Catnpus University.. . is headed by a former Italian intedior minister named Vincenao Scotti.").
i Papadopoulos Statement of Offense $ 5.
«'«Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 3.

See, e .,
• • • •

' Papadopoulos Statement of Offense $ 5,


'" Papadopoulos Statement of Offense li 5.
«" Papadopoulos g/10/17 302, at 3; Papadopoulos g/11/17 302„at 2.
" PapadopoulosStatement of Offense 'i[ 5.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

On March 17, 2016, Papadopoulos returned to London. s F our days later, candidate
Trump publirly named him as a member of the foreign policy and national security advisory team
chaired by Senator Jeff Sessions, describing Papadopoulos as "an oil and energy consultant" and
an "[c]xcellent guy,'"i'

On March 24, 2016, Papadopoulos mct with M ifsud in L ondon.sss M i fsud was
accompanied by a Russian female named Olga Polonskaya. Mifsud introduced Polonskaya as a
former student ofhis who had connections to Vladimir Putin. ss Payadopoulos understood at the
time that Polonskaya may have been Putin's niece but later learned that this was not true,4s4 During
the meeting, Polonskaya offered to help Papadopoulos establish contacts in Russia and stated that
the Russian ambassador in London was a friend ofhcrs.4ss Based on this interaction, Papadopoulos
expcctcd Mifsud and Polonskaya to introduce him to the Russian ambassador in London, but that
did not occur,

Following his meeting with Mifsud, Papadopoulos sent an email to members of the Trump
Campaign's foreign policy advisory team, The subject lme of the message was '"Meeting with
Russian leadership —
deluding Putin."" T h e message stated in pertinent part:

I just finished a very productive lunch with a good friend of mine, Joseph Mifsud, the
director of the London Academy ef Diplomacy — who introduced me to both Putin's niece
and the Russian Ambassador in London — who also acts as the Deputy Foreign Minister.+'

The topic of the lunch was to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to
discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump, They are keen to host us in a "neutral"
city„or directly m Moscow. They said the leadership, including Putin, is ready to meet with
us and Mr, Trump should there be interest, Waiting for everyone's thoughts on moving
forward with this very important issue,4 s

Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 2.


n phillip Racker Jb Robert Costa, Trump f)ues/ions Need for MTO, Outlines Nouinterveruiomst
Foreigii Policy, Washington Post (Mar. 21, 2016),
' s Payadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 3; 3/24/16 Text Messages, Mifsud 6t Papadopoulos.
en Papadopoulos 8/10/1 7 302, at 3.
eu Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 3; Papadoyoulos 2/10/17 302, at 2-3; Papadoyoulos Internet
Search History (3/24/16) (revealing late-morning and carly-atternoon searches on March 24„2016 for
"pugn's mcce," "olga putin,'" and "russian president niece olga," among other terms).
4~ Payadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 3.
4is Papadopoulos Statement of Offense g 8 n.l.
si 3/24/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Page et al. (8:48:21 a.m.).
"" Papadopoulos's statements to the Campaign were false, As noted above, the woman hc inst was
not Putin's niece, hc had not met the Russian Ambassador in London, snd thc Ambassador did not also
serve as Russia"s Deputy Foreign Minister.
3/24/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Page et aL (8:48:21 a.m.),
U.S. Department of Justice
II

Papadopoulos's message came at a time when Clovis perceived a shift in the Campaign's approach
toward Russia — from one of engaging with Russia thmu h the NATO framework and takin a
stron stance on Russian a e s sion in Ukraine

Clovis's response to Papadopoulos, however, did not reflect that shiit. R eplying to
Papadopoulos and the other members of the foreign policy advisory team copied on the initial
email, Clovis wrote:

This is most informative. Let me work it through the campaign. No commitments until we
see how this plays out. My thought is that we probably should not go forward with any
meetings with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies,
especiaIly France, Germany and Great Britain. We need to reassure om' allies that we are
not going to advance anything with Russia until we have everyone on the same page.

More thoughts later today. Great work. "

c. J/farcir 31 Eoreign Policy Team Jifeering

The Campaign held a meeting of the foreign policy advisory team with Senator Sessions
and candidate Trump approximately one week later, on March 31, 2016, in Washington, D.C.4sr
The meeting — which was intended to generate press coverage for the Campaign s — took place at
the Trump International HoteL4s Papadopoulos flew to Washington for the event. At the meeting,
Senator Sessions sat at one end of an oval table, while Trump sat at the other, As reflected in the
photograph below (which was posted to Trump's Instagram account), Papadopoulos sat between
the two„two seats to Sessions's left:

"" 3/24/1 6 Email, Clovis tc Papadopoulos et al. (8.55:04 a.m.),


' Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 4; Papadopoulos 8/1 1/1 7 302, at 3,
"' Sessions 1/17/1 8 302, at 16-17.
Papadopoulcs 8/10/17 302, at 4,
U.S. Department of Justice

March 3/,.2N 4 itteettng of Foreign Potter Team, with Papadopo aloe(Fottrth fram Right of Candidate Trump)

During the meeting, each of the newly announced foreign policy advisors introduced
themselves and briefly described their areas of a~silence or expertise, ' Papadopoulos spoke
about his previous work in the energy sector and then brought up a potential meeting with Russian
officials.t's Specifically, Papadopoulos told the group that he had learned thmugh his contacts in
London that Putin wanted to meet with candidate Trump and that these connections could help
art'ange that meeting.

Trump and Sessions both reacted to Papadopoulos's statement. Papadopoulos and


Campaign advisor J.B. Gordon — who told investigators in an interview that he had a "crystal
clew" recollection of the meeting — have stated that Trump was interested in and receptive to the
idea of a meeting with Putin.4ss Papadopoulos understood Sessions to be similarly supportive of
his efforts to arrange a meeting, s Gordon and two other attendees, however, recall that Sessions
generally opposed the proposal, though they differ in their accounts of the concerns he voiced or
the strength of the opposition he expressed.t4'

ti. George Papadottoutos Learns Tliat Russia Has "Dirt" in the Form of Ciinton
Emaits

Whatever Sessions'.s precise words at the March 31 meenhg, Papadopoulos did not
understand Sessions or anyone cise in the Trump Campaign to have directed that he refrain from

e ' Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 4.


4'e Papadopoulos 8/10/'1 7302, at 4.
Paftadopoulas Statetnent of Offense $ 9; see Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 14; Carafano 9/12/17 302,
at 2; Hoskins 9/14/17 302, at 1.
" Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 4-5; Gordon 9/7/17 302, at 4-5.
us Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 5; Papadopoulos 8/11/1 7 302, at 3.
u' Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 17; Gordon 9/7/17 302, at 5; Hoskins 9/14/17 302, at 1; Carafano
9/12/17 302, at 2.
U.S, Deparlment of lustice

itmkmg further efforts to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government,
To the contrary, Papadopoulos told the Office that he understood the Campaign to be supportive
of his efforts to arrange such a meeting.~t Ac cordingly, when he returned to London,
Papadopoulos resumed those efforts.eet

Throughout April 2016, Papadopoulos continued to correspond with, meet with, and seek
Russia contacts thmugh Mifsud and, at times, Polonskaya,e For example, within a week of her
initial March 24 meeting with him, Polonskaya attempted to send Papadopoulos a text message-
which email exchanges show t o h ave been drafted or e dited by M i f sud — addressing
Papadopoulos's "wish to engage with the Russian Federation,"444 When Papadopoulos learned
from Mifsud that Polonskaya had tried to message him, he, sent her an email seeking another
meeting. Po l onskaya responded the next day that she was "back in St. Petersburg" but "would
be very pleased to support [Papadopoulos's] initiatives between our two countries" and "to meet
[him] again."+e Papadopoulos stated in reply that he thought "a good step" would be to introduce
him to "the Russian Ambassador in London,"' and that he would like to talk to the ambassador, "or
anyone else you recommend, about a potential foreign policy trip to Russia.'get

Mifsud, who had been copied on the email exchanges, replied on the morning of April 11,
2016. He wrote, "This is already been agreed, I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai
meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma, We will talk tom'orrow." s The two bodies referenced
by Mifsud are part of or associated with the Russian government: the Duma is a Russian legislative
assembly,~a while "Valdai" refers to the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based group that "is
close to Russia's foreign-policy establishment."es Papadopoulos thanked Mifsud and said that he
would see him "tomorrow,'+st For her part, Polonskaya responded that she had "already alerted
my personal links to our conversation and your request," that "we are all very excited the
possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump,",and that "[t]he Russian Federation would love
to welcome him once his candidature would be officially announced." t

t ' Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 4-5; Papadopoulos 8/11/17 302, at 3; Papadopoulos 9/20/1/ 302,
at 2.
Papadopo rdos Statement of Offense $ 10.
Papadopoaloe Statement of Offense Q 10-15.
"ie 3/29/16 Emails, Mifsud toPolons
kaya(339 am, and536 am),
a' 4/10/1 6 Email, Papadopoulos to Polonskaya (2 45: 59 p m ).
a' 4/11/16 Email, Polonskaya to Papadopoulos (3:11;24 a,m.).
' 4/11/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Polonskaya (9:21i56 a.m.).
a' 4/11/16 Email, Mifsud to Papadopoulos (11;43:53).
i Papadopoaloe Statement of, Offense $ 10(c).
" A nton Ttoianovski, Pariri Ally )Fares of Arms Race as Raeeia Considers Response io US
Nuclear Stance, Washington Post (Feb. 10, 2018).
en 4/11/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Mlfsud (11:51:$3 a.m.),
' 4/12/16 Email, Polonskaya to Papadopoulos (4.47:06 a.m.),
U.S, Department of Justice
//

Papadopoulos's and Mifsud's mentions of seeing each other "tomorrow" referenced a


meeting that the two had scheduled for the next morning, April 12, 2016, at the Andaz Hotel in
London. Papadopoulos acknowledged the meeting, during interviews with the Office,4»» 'and
records from Papadopoulos's UK cellphone and his internet-search history all indicate that the
meeting took place.4»4

Following the meeting, Mifsud traveled as planned to Moscow, »» On April 18, 2016,
while in Russia, Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos over email to Ivan Timofeev, a member of the
Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). '» M i fsud had described Timofeev as having
connections with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA),s»r the executive entity in Russia
responsible for Russian foreign relations.~»s Over the next several weeks, Papadopoulos and
Timofeev had multiple conversations over Skype and email about setting "the groundwork" for a
"potential" meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials. Papadopoulos
told the Office that, on one Skype call, he believed that his conversation with Timofeev was being
monitored or supervised by an unknown third party, because Timofeev spoke in an official manner
and Papadopoulos heard odd noises on the lme." T i mofeev also told Papadopoulos in an April
25,2016 email that he had just spoken "to Igor Ivanov[] the President of RIAC and former Foreign
Minister of Russia," and conveyed Ivanov's advioe ab'out how best to arrange a "Moscow visit." "

After a stop in Rome, Mifsud returned to England on April 25„2016.4m The next day,,
Papadopoulos met Mifsud for breakfast at the Andaz Hotel (the same location as their last

" Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 7.


" 4/12/16 Email, Mifsud to Papadopoulcs (5',44;39 a.m,) (forw'arding.Libya-related document);
4/12/16 Email, Mifsud to Papadopoulos 4b Obaid (10;28:20 a.m,); Papadopoulos Internet Search History
(Apr. 11, 2016 10:56:49 p.m.) (search for "andaz hotel liverpool street" ); 4/12/I 6 Text Messages, Mifsud
/b Papadopoulos,
4'» See, s.g., 4/18/16 Email„Mifsud to Papadopoulos (8:04:54 a.m.).
"' Papadopoulos 8/10/17 302, at 5.
"" Paprrdopoulos Statement of Offense $ 11.
~" During the campaign period, Papadopoulos connected over Linkedln with several MFA-
affiliated individuals in addition to Timofeev. On April 25, 2016, he connected with Dmitry Andreyko,
publicly identified as a,First Secretary at the Russian Embassy in Ireland. In July 2016, he connected with
Yuriy Melnik, the spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington and with Alexey Krasilnlkov,
publicly identified as a counselor with the MFA. And on September 16, 2016, he connected with Ser ei
Nalobin, also identified as an MFA ofiicial, See Papadopoulos LinkedIn Connections

' Papadopotdcs Statement of Offense ii 11.


" Papadopoulos 8/I 0/I 7 302, at 5; Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 10,
' 4/25/I 6 Email, Timofeev to Papadopoulos (8:16:35 s.m.).
"~ 4/22/I 6 Email, Mfsud to Papadopoulos (12:41:01 a,m.).
U.S. Department of Justice
//

meeting). s D u ring that meeting, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had met with high-level
Russian government officials during his recent trip to Moscow. Mifsud also said that, on the trip,
he learned that the Russians had obtained "dirt" on candidate Hillary Clinton, As Payadopoulos
later stated to the FBI, Mifsud said that the "dirt" was in the form of "emails of Clinton," and that
they "have thousands of emails."»s» On May 6, 2016, 10 days after that meeting with Mifsud,
P apadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had
received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the
anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton."s»

e. Russia-Related Commrttricatiot»s With The Campaign

While he was discussing with his foreign contacts a potential meeting of campaign officials
with Russian government officials, Papadopoulos kept campaign officials apprised of his efforts.
On April 25, 2016, thc day be fore Mifsud told Papadopoulos about the emails, Papadopouloswrote
to senior policy advisor StephenMiller that "[t]he Russian government has an open invitation by
Putin for Mr. Trump to meet hhn when he is ready," and that "[t]he advantage of being in London
overnm
is that these g ents t end to speak a bit more operdy in 'neutral' cities."4»s On April 27, 2016,
after his meeting with Mifsud, Papadoyoulos wrote a second message to Miller stating that "some
interesting messages [were] coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right."4»7 The
same day, Papadopoulos sent a similar email to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, telling
Lewandowski that Papadopoulos had "been receiving a lot of calls over the last month about Putin
wanting to host [Trump] and the team when the time is right.'"»»

Papadoyoulos's Russia-related communications with Campaign officials continued


thr'oughout the syring and summer of 2016. On May 4, 2016, he forwarded to Lewandowski an
email from Timofeev raising the yossibility of a meeting in Moscow, asking Lewandowski
whether that was '"something we want to move forward with."4» The next day, Papadoyoulos
forwarded the same Timofeev email to Sam Clavis, adding to the top of the email "Russia
update,' ign official
He i ncluded the same email in a May 21, 2016 message to senior Campa
Paul Manafort, under the subject line "Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump," stating that
"Russia has been eager to meet Mr, Trump for quite sometime and have been rearhmg out to me

"" Papadopoalos Statement of Offense g 14; 4/25/1 6 Text Messages, Mifsud ir. Payadopoulos.
Papadopou1os Statement of Offense [ 14,
4" This information is contained in the FBI case-opening document and related materials.

d»saeminatiets: The foreign government conveyed this information to 'the U.S. government on July 26,
2016, a few days after WikiL'eaks's release of Clinton-related emails. The FBI opened its investigation of
yotential coordination between Russia and the Trump Campaign a few days later based on the information.
4/25/16 Email, Papadopoulos to S. Miller (8:12;44 p.m,).
"»7 4/27/16 Email, Papadoyoulos to S. Miller (6:55:58 y.m.).
"" 4/27/16 Email, Papadoyoulos to Lewandowski (7:15:14 p.m.).
i~» 5/4/16 Email, Payadopoulcs to Lewandowski (8.'14:49 a.m.).
4~' 5/5/1 6 Email, Payadoyoulos to Clovis (7:15.'2 l p.m.).
U.S. Department of Justice
//

to discuss."4 ' Manafort forwarded thc message to another Campaign official, without including
Payadopoulos, and stated: '"Let[']s discuss. We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is
not doing these trips. I t should be someone low level in the Campaign so as not to send
any signal.*'47

On June I, 2016, Papadopoulos replied to an earlier email chain with Lewandowski about
a Russia visit, asking, if Lewandowski *'want[ed] to have a eall about this topic" and whether "we
were following up with it." s A f ter Lewandowski told Papadopoulos to "connect with" Clovis
because he was "running point," Payadopoulos emailed Clovis that "the Russian MFA" was asking
him '"if Mr. Trump is interested in visiting Russia at some point,"474 Papadopoulos wrote in an
email that he "[w]anted to pass this info along to you for you to decide what's best ta do with it
and what message I should send (or ta ignore)."47s

After several email and Skype exchanges with Timofeev, 7 Papadopaulos sent one more
email to Lewandowski on June 19, 2016, Lewandowski's last day as campaign manager.477 The
email stated that "[t]he Russian ministry of foreign affairs" had contacted him and asked whether,
if Mr. Trump could not travel to Russia, a campaign representative such as Papadoyoulos could
attend meetings.47s Papadoyoulos tald Lewandowski that he was "willing to make the iriy off the
record 'if it's in the interest of Mr. Trumy and the campaign to meet specific people.'~7s

Following Lewandowski's departure from the Campaign, Payadapaulos communicated


with Clovis and Walid Phares, another member of the foreign policy advisory team, about an off-
t he-record meeting between the Campaign and Russian govenunent officials or w i t h
Papadoyoulos's other Russia connections, Mifsud and Timofeev.4ss Papadopoulos also interacted

47' 5/21/16 Email, Papadoyoulos to Manafort (2:30:14 p.m.').

Papcdopoulos Statement of Offense ]i 19 n.'2.


4746/I/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Lewandowski (3,i08:18 p.m.).
474 6/I/16 Email, Lewandawski to Papadopoulos (3:20:03 p.m,); 6/I/16 Email, Papadopoulos to
Clovis (3:29:14 pm.),
47' 6/I/16 Email, Papadoyoulos ta Clavis (3;29:14 p.m.). Pspadopoulos's email coincided in time
with another message to Clavis suggesting a Trump-Putin meeting. First, on May 15, 2016, David Klein-
a distant relative of then-Trump Organizadon lawyer Jason Greenblatt — emailed Clovis about a potential
Campaign meeting with Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia. The email stated that Kiein had contacted
Lazar in February about a 'possible Trump-Putin meeting and that Lazar was "a very close confidante of
Putin." DJTFP00011547 (5/15/16 Email, Klein to Clovis (5:45:24 p.m,)). The investigation did not find
evidence that Clovis responded to Klein's email or that any further contacts of significance came out of
Klein's subsequent meeting with Gieenblatt and Rabbi Lazar at Tnunp Tower. Klein 8/30/18 302, at 2.
'7' Paprdopordas Statement of Offense $ 21(a).
477

474 6/19/I 6 Email, Papadopoulos to Lewandowski (I:11:11 y.m,).


474 6/19/16 Email, Papadopoulos ta Lewandawsld (I:11:11 p.m.);

4wPapadopoulos Statement of Offense $ 21; 7/14/I 6 Email, Papadopoulos to Timofeev (11:57:24


p.m.); 7/15/I 6 Email, Payadayoulos to Mifsud; 7/27/I 6 Email„Papadoyoulas ta Mifsud (2:14:18 p.m.).

90
U.$. Department of Justice
//

ditectly with Clovis and Phares in connection with the summit of the Transatlantic Parliamentary
Group on Counterterrorism (TAG), a group for which Phares was co-secretary general. s' On July
16, 2016, Papadopoulos attended the TAG summit in Washington, D.C., where he sat next to
Clovis (as reflected in the photograph below).4ss

George Papadopottlos /lar right) aodgam Clavis /seoondfrom right)

Although Clovis claimed to have no recollection of attending the TAG summit,4"


Papadopoulos remembered discussing Russia and a foreign policy trip with Clovis and Phares
during the event.444 papadopoulos's recolleeti'on is consistent with emails sent before and atter
the TAG summit, The pte-summit messages included a July 11, 2016 email in which Pharos
suggested meeting Papadopoulos the day after the summit to chat„4s' and a July 12 message in the
same chain in which Pharos advised Papadopoulos that other summit attendees "are very nervous
about Russia. So be aware.'"ss Ten days after the summit, Papadopoulos sent an email to Mifsud
listing Phares and Clovis as other '"participants" in a potential meeting at the London Academy of
Diplomacy.4sr

Finally, Papadopoulos's recollection is also consistent with handwtitten notes from a

" Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 16-17," 9th TAG Surrtmit in 1Fashington DC, Transatlantic
Parliament Group onCounter Tertorism,
9th Tst G Summit /rt Washington DC, Transatlantic Parliament Group on Counter Terrorism.

444 Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 16-17.


sn 7/11/1 6 Email, Phares to Papadopoulos.
444 7/17/16 Email, Phsres tc Papadopoulos (14:52:29).
4ss 7/2'l/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Mifsud (14:14;1 8),
U.S, Department of Justice
//

journal that he kept at the time.4ss Those notes, which are reyrinted in part below, appear to refer
to potential September 2016 meetings in London with representatives of the '*office of Putin," and
suggest that Phares, Clevis, and Papadopoulos ("Walid/Sam me'"3would attend without the official
backing of the Campaign ("no oilictal letter/no message from Trump" ). '

September:
Have an exploratory meeting
te or lose. In September — if allowed + /~+ l 4'PQ + ~
they will blast Mr. Trump. t $e- f/ f Q I ~ ~ r 4 r i s~ i
W e want t h e m eeting i n
ws/ (I+ /nr, y ~.
London/England
Walid/Ssm me
• hr t„~
(<
+~
No offtcial letter/no message
from Tnunp
They are talking to us.
'@/ 1 I<pl /
-Itis a lot of risk,
-Office of Putin.
-Explore: we are a campaign.

off Israeli EGYPT


Willingness to meet the FM sp
with Walid/Sam
-FM coming
-Useful to have a session with

Later communications indicate that Clavis determined that he (Clovis) could not travel.
On August 15, 2016, Papadoyoulos emailed Clovis that he had received requests from multiple
foreign governments, "even Russ(at]," for "closed door workshops/consultations abroad," and
'asked whether there was still interest for Clevis, Phares, and Papadoyoulos "m go on that trip.'@
Clovis copied Phares on his response, which said that he could not "travel before the election" but
that he "would encourage [Payadopoulos] and Walid to make the trips, if it is feasible."

s' Papadopoulos 9/20/17 302, at 3.


4~ Papadopoulos declined to assist in deciphering his notes, telling investigators that he could not
read his own handwriting from the journal. Papadoyoulos 9/19/17 302, at 21, The notes, however, appear
to read as listed in the column to the left of the image above,
4 ' 8/15/16 Email, Papadopoulos to Clovis (11.'59:07 a.m.),
' 8/15/16 Email, Clovis to Papadopoulos (12:01',45 p.m.).
U.S. Departmetit of Justice
//

Papadopoulos was dismissed from the Trump Campaign in early October 2016, after an
interview he gave to the Russian news agency Interfax generated adverse publicity.s 2

f. Tramp Campaign Xnosvfedgeof "Ih'rt"

Papadopoulos admitted telling at least one individual outside of the Campaign-


specifically, the then-Greek foreign minister — about Russia's obtaining, Clinton-related emails.4v'
In addition, a dif'ferent foreign government informed the FBI that, 10 days after meeting with
Mifsud in late April 2016, Papadopoulos suggested that the Trump Campaign had received
indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous
release of information that would be damagmg to Hillary Clinton.4 4 (This conversation occurred
after the GRU spearphished Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta and stole his emails, and
the GRU hacked into the DCCC and DNC„see Volume I, Sections III.A gc III.B, supra,} Such
disclosures raised questions about whether Papadopoulos informed any Trump Campaign of5cial
about the emu}Is.

When interviewed, Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials who interacted with him told
the Office that they could not recall Papadopoulos's sharing the mformation that Russia had
obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of emails or that Russia could assist the Campaign
through 'the anonymous release of information about Clinton. Papadopoulos stated that he could
not clearly recall having told anyone on the Campaign and wavered about whether he accurately
remembered an incident in which Clovis had been upset after hearing Papadopoulos tell Clovis
that Papadopoulos thought "they have her emails." ' T h e Campaign officials who interacted or
corresponded with Papadopoulos have similarly stated, with varying degrees of certainty, that he
did not teH them. Senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, for example, did not remember hearing
anything from Papadopoulos or Clavis about Russia having emails of or dirt on candidate
Clinton.4ve Clovis stated that he did not recall anyone, including Papadopoulos, having given him
n on-public information that a forei n overnment m' t be in ossession of material dame 'n t o
Hills Cl i nton,4

George Papadopoulos: Sanctions Have Done Little Mare Than to Turn Russia Tovvards China,
Interfax (Sept. 30, 2016}.
4 ' Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 14-15; Def. Sent. Mem., United States v. George Papadopoutos,
I:17-or-182 (D.D.C. Aug. 31, 2018}, Doe. 45,
4v4See footnote 465 of Volume I, Section IV.A.2.d, supra.

Papadopouios 8/10/I 7 302, at S; Papadopoulos 8/11/17 302, at 5„' Papadopoulos 9/20/17 302,
at 2.
n' S. MIIIer 12/14/17 302, at 10.
U.S. Department of Justice
II

No documentary evidence, an no i ng in the email accounts or other


communications facilities reviewed by the Office, shows that Papadopoulos shared this
information with the Campaign.

g. Addhfiorral George Papadopoalos Carr/acr

The Office investigated another Russia-related contact with Papadopoulos. The Office wss
not fully able to explore the contact because the individual at issue — Sergei Millian — remained
out of the country since the inception of our investigation and declined to meet with members of
the Office despite our repeated efforts to obtain an interview.

Papadopoulos first connected with Millian vm Linkedln on July 15, 2016, shortly after
Papadopoulos had attended the TAG Summit with Cfovis.s® Millian„sn American citizen who is
a native of Bclarus, introduced himself "as president of [the] Ncw York-based Russian American
Chamber of Commerce," and claimed that through that position he had "insider knowledge snd
direct access to the top hierarchy in Russian politics,'u " Papadopoulos asked Timofeev whether
he had heard of Millian.'9 Although Timofcev said no, P apsdopoulos met Millian in Ncw York
City, ~ The meetings took place on July 30 snd August I, 2016.9 9 Afterwards, Millian invited
Papsdopoulos to attend —and potentially speak at — two international energy conferences,
including one that was to be held in Moscow in September 2016.994 papadopoulos ultimately did
not attend either conference.

On July 31, 2016, following his first in-person meeting with Millian„Pspadopoulos
emailed Trump Campaign official Bo Dcnysyk to say that he had been contacted "by some leaders
of Russian-American voters here in the US about their interest in voting for Mr. Trump," and to
ask whether he should "put you in touch with their group (US-Russia chamber of commerce}."sm
Denysyk thanked Papadopoulos "for taking the initiative,"' but asked him to "hold off with

499

"' 7/1 5/16 LinkedIn Message, Millian to Papadoyoulos.


" 7/15/16 Linkedln Message, Millisn to Payadopoulos.
im 7/22/16 Facebook Message, Papsdopoulos to Tlmofeev (7;40:23 p,m.),' 7/26/16 Facebook
Message, Papadoyoulos to Timofeev (3;08;57 p.m.).
9 ' 7/23/16 Facebook Message, Timofeev to Papadopoulos (4:31;37 a,m.); 7/26/16 Fscebook
Message, Timofeev to Papadepoulos (3:37:16 p.m,).
'~ 7/16/16 Text Messages, Papadopoulos dt Millian {7455 43 y.m.).
7/30/1 6 Text Messages, Payadopoulos 84 Millisn (5;38 k 6:05 p.m.}; 7/31/16 Text Messages,
Millisn 84 Papadopoulos (3 48 ds 4 18 p m ); 8/1/16 Text Message, Millisn to Papadopoulos (8;19 p m ).
'+ 8/2/16 Text Messages, Millisn k Papadopoulos (3:04 84 3:05 p.m.); 8/3/16 Fscebook Messages,
Papadopoulos 84,Millian {4;07:37 a.m. 8s 1:11:58 p,m.).
'm 7/3 1/16 Email, Payadoyoulos to Denysyk (12;29;59 p.m,}.
U.S. Department of Justice

outi each to Russian-Americans" because "too many articles" had already portrayed the Campaign,
then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and candidate Trump as "being pro-Russian."'

On August 23, 2016, Millian sent a Facebook message to Papadopoulos promising that he
would '"share with you a disruptive technology that might b'e instrumental in your political work
for the campaign," Pa padopoulos claimed to have no recollechon of this matter."

On November 9, 2016, shortly after the election, Papadopoulos ananged to meet Millian
in Chicago to discuss business opportunities, mcluding potential work with Russian "billionaires
who are not under sanctions."s' T he meeting took place on November 14, 2016, at the Trump
Hotel and Tower in Chicago. + According to Papadopoulos, the two men discussed partnering on
business deals, but Papadopoulos perceived that Millian's attitude toward him changed when
Papadopoulos stated that he was only pursuing private-sector opportunities and was not interested
in a job in the Administration. " The two remained in contact, however, and had extended online
discussions about possible business opportunities in Russia. '4 The two also arranged to meet at a
Washington, D.C. bar when both attended Trump's inauguration in late January 2017.s"

Carter Page worked forthe Trump Campaign from January 2016 to September 2016, He
was formally and publicly announced as a foreign policy advisor by the candidate in March
2016,s's Page had lived and worked in Russia, and he had been approached by Russian intelligence
officers several years before he volunteered for the Trump Campaign. During his time with the
Campaign, Page advocated pro-Russia foreign policy positions and traveled to Moscow in his
personal capacity. Russian intelligence officials had formed relationships with Page in 2008 and
2013 and Russian officials may ham fdcused on Page in 2016 because of his affiliation with the
Campaign. However, the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian
government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

'w 7/31/1 6 Email, Denysyk to Papadopoulos (21;54:52).


8/23/16 Facebook Message, Millian to Papadopoulos (2; 55:36 a,m,).
n Papadopeulos 9/20/17 302, at 2.
"' l l/10/16 Facebook Message, Millian to Papadopoulos (9;35:05 p.m.}.
'u 11/14/16 Facebook Message, Millian to Papadopoulos (1:32;11 am.).
" Papadopoulos 9/19/17 302, at 19.
E.g., 11/29/16 Facebook Messages, Papadopoulos dr, Millian (5:09 - 5:11 p.m.); 12/7/16
Facebook Message, Millian to Papadopoulos (5;10:54 p.m.).
"' 1/20/17 Facebook Messages, Papadopoulos 4t Millian (4:37-4:39 a.m.),
u Page was interviewed b t he FBI duriu f i ve meetin s in March 2017, before the Special
Counsel's appointment,
U.S. Department of Justice

Before he began working for the Cainpaign in January 2016, Page had substantial prior
experience studying Russmn policy issues and living and working in Moscow. From 2004 to 2007,
Page was the deputy branch manager of Merrill Lynch's Moscow office.s' There, he worked on
transactions involving the Russian energy company Gazprom and came to know Gazprom's
deputy chief financial officer, Sergey Yatsenko."s

In 2008, Page founded Global Energy Capital LLC (GEC), an investment mana ement and
sdviso f i r m focused on the ene'r s ector in emerging markets. 'v
The company otherwise had no sources of income,
Page was force t o draw down his life savings to support himself and pursue his business
venture. ' Pa e asked Yatsenko to work with him at GEC as a senior advisor on a contin enc
basis

In 2008, Page met Alexander Bulatov, a Russian government official who worked at the
Russian Consulate in New York. Pa e later learned that Bulatov was a Russian intelli ence
$24
officer>

In 2013, Victor Podobnyy„another Russian intelligence officer working covertly in the


United States under diplomatic cover, formed a relationship with Page.s~ Podobnyy met Page at
an energy symposium in New York City and began exchanging emails with him.'te Podobnyy
and Page also met in person on multiple occasions, during which Page offered his outlook on the
future of the energy mdustry and provided documents to Podobnyy about the energy business.ssv
In a recorded conversation on April 8, 2013, Podobnyy told another intelligence officer that Page
was interested in business opportunities in Russia. s In Podobnyy's words, Page "got hooked on

' Test/teeny of Carter Page, Hearing Before the U,S. House of Representattves, Permanent Select
Canon/ace on Jntetitgenoe, 115th Cong. 40 (Nov. 2, 2017) (exhibit).
'" Page 3/30/17 302, at 10.
519

520

n' Page 3/30/17 302, at 10;


%3

Complaint g 22, 24, 32, United States v. Buryakov, 1'i15-


mj-215 (S.D.N.Y. Jan, 23„201 ), Doe, 1 ("Buryakov Complaint" ).
s ' Buryakov Complaint $ 34.
'i Buryakov Complaint g 34.
' Buryakov Complaint $ 32.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could... rise up. Maybe he can.. . [I]t's obvious
that he wants to earn lots of money."sos Podobnyy said that he had led Page on by "feed[lug] him
empty promises" that Podobnyy would use his Russian business connections to help Page.sic
Podobnyy told the other intelligence officer that his method of recruiting foreign sources was to
promise them favors and then discard them once he obtained relevant information from them. s'

In 2015, Podobnyy and two other Russian intelligence officers were charged with
conspii'acy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Th e criminal complaint
detailed Podobnyy's interactions with aml conversations about Page, who was identified only as
"Male-1.'"'s Based on the criminal complaint's description of the interactions, Page was aware
that he was the individual described as "Male-l,"'~ Page later spoke with a Russian government
official at the United Nations General Assembly and identified himself so that the official would
understand he was "Male-1" from the Podobn c orn laint. I Pa e told the official that.he "didn' t
do anything"

In interviews with the FBI before the Office's opening, Page acknowledged that he
understood that the individuals he had associated with were members of the Russian intelligence
services,, but he stated that he had only pmvided immaterial non-public information to them and
that he did not view this relationship as a backchannel.ssi Page told investigating agents that "the
more immaterial non-public information I give them, the belier for this country,'uss

b, Origlrss of send Early Campalgw Work

In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the Trump
Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign
officials.sss Page told the Gffice that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate
Trump improve relations with Russia. To that end, Page emailed Campaign officials offering
his thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations, prepared talking points and briefing memos on Russia, and

'is Bsryokov Complaint.


s's Baryokov Complamt,
"' Borvakov Complaint,
"i See Buryokov Com laint. see also Indictment United Smtes v. Buryakou, I:15-cr-73 (S.D.N.Y,
Feb. 9, 2015), Doc. 10;
' s Baryakov Complaint $$ 32-34;
sic

sss Page 3/16/17 302, at 4;


s' Page 3/16/17 302, at 4;
' s Page 3/30/17 302, at 6; Page 3/31/17 302, at I,
"' Page 3/31/17 302, at I,
' ' Page 3/I 6/17 302, at I;
s oPage 3/10/17 302 at 2
U,S. Department of Justice
//

proposed that candidate Trump meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

In communications with Campaign officials, Page also repeatedly touted his high-level
contacts in Russia and his ability to forge connections between candidate Trump and senior.
Russian governmental officials, For example, on January 30, 2016, Page sent an email to senior
Campaign officials stating that he had "spent the past week in Europe and ha[d] been in discussions
with some individuals with dose ties to the Kremlin" who recognized that Trump could have a
"game-changing effect. . . in bringing the end of the new Cold War." T he e mail stated that
"[t]hrough [his] discussions w'ith these high level contacts," Page believed that "a direct meeting
in Moscow between Mr[.] Trump and Putin could be arran ed." 54' P e c losed the email b
criticizin U .S; sanctions on Russia.544

On March 21, 2016, candidate Trump formally and publicly identified Page as a member
of his foreign policy team to advise on Russia and the energy sector.~s Over the next several
m onths, Page continued providing policy-related work product to Campaign officials, F or
example, in April 2016, Page provided feedback on an outline for a foreign policy speech that the
candidate gave at the Mayflower Hotel,547see Volume I, Sec'tion IV.A.4, tnPa. In May 2016, Page
prepared an outline of an energy policy speech for the Campaign and then traveled to Bismarck,
North Dakota, to watch the candidate deliver the speech.s 5 Chief policy advisor Sam Clovis
expressed appreciation for Page's work and praised his work to other Campaign officials.+5

e. Carter Page's July 2N O' Trip To /77foscow

Page's afllliation with the Trump Campaign took on a higher profile and drew the attention
of Russian officials after the candidate named him a foreign p'olicy advisor. As a result,, in late
April 2016, Page was invited to give a speech at the July 2016 commencement ceremony at the

54' See, e,g., 1/30/16 Email, Page to Cilassner et al.," 3/17/16 Email, Page to Clovis (attaching a
"President's Daily BrieP prepared by Page that discussed the "severe de at i on of U.S.-Russia relations
following Washington's meddling" in Ukraine);
5 1/30/16 Email, Page to Glassner et al.
545 1/30/1 6 Email, Page to Glassner et al.

" 1/30/16 Email, Page to Glassner et al.


545

Transcript of D onald Trurn 's Meettn w i t h the Washington Past Editorial Board,
Washington Post (Mar. 21, 2016);
547

5 See, e.g., 3/28/I 6 Email, Clovis to Lewandowski et al. (forwarding notes prepared by Page and
stating, "I wanted to let you know the type of work some o'f our advisors are capable of.").
U.S. Department of Justice
//

New Economic School (NES) in Moscow. ' Th e NES commencement ceremony generally
featured high-profile speakers; fol example, President Barack Obama delivered a commencement
address at the school in 2009, NE S officials told the Office that the interest in inviting Page to
speak at NES was based entirely on his status as a Trump Campaign advisor who served as the
candidate's Russia expert.552 Andrej Krickovic, an associate of Page's and assistant professor at
the Higher School of Economics in Russia, recommended that NES rector Shlomo Weber invite
Page to give the commencement address based on his connection to the Trump Campaign.55'
Deni's Klimentov, an employee of NES, said that when Russians learned of Page's involvement in
the Trump Campaign in March 2016, the excitement was yalyable.'56 Weber recalled that in
summer 2016 there was substantial interest in the Trump Campaign in Moscow, and he felt that
bringing a member of the Campaign to the school would be beneficial.

Page was eager to accept the invitation to speak at NES, and he sought approval from
Trumy Campaign officials to make the trip to Russia.' O n May 16, 2016, while that request was
still under consideratiori, Page emailed Clovis, J.D. Gordon, and Walid Phares and suggested that
candidate Trmnp take his place speaking at the commencement ceremony in Moscow, 5 On June
19, 2016, Page followed up again to request approval to speak at the' NES event and to reiterate
that NES would love to have Mr, Trump speak at this annual celebration" in Page's place.556
Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded the same day, saying, "If you want to do this,
it would be out side [sic] of your role with the DJT for President campaign. I am certain Mr.
Trump will not be. able to attend."s 6

In early July 2016, Page traveled to Russia for the NES events. On July 5, 2016, Denis
Klimentov, copying his brother, Dmitri Klimentov,56e emailed Maria Zakharova. the Director of
the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Information and Press Deyartment, about Page's visit and
his connection to the Trump Campaign. ' Denis Klimentov said in the email that he wanted to
draw the Russian government's attention to Page's visit in Moscow.56t His message to Zakharova

556Page 3/16/17 302, at 2-3; Page 3/10/17 302, at 3,.


"' S. Weber 7/28/17 302, at 3.
"' Y. Weber 6/1/17 302, at 4-5; S. Weber 7/28/1 7 302, at 3.
5' SeeY. Weber 6/1/17 302, at4;S.Weber 7/28/17 302, at3,
"6 Be. Klimentov 6/9/17 302, at 2.
'" S. Weber 7/28/17 302, at 3.
"' See 5/16/16 Email, Page to Phares et al. (referring to submission of a "campaign advisor request
form"),
55'1
; 5/16/16 Email, Page to Pharos et al,
556
6/1 9/16 Email, Page to Gordon et aL
6/19/16 Email, Lewandowski to Page et al,
566
Bmitrl Klimentov is a New York-based public relations consultant.
561
7/5/16 Email, Klimentov to Zakharova (translated),
7/5/1 6 Email, Klimentov to Zakharova (translated).

99
U.S. Department of Justice
II

continued: "Page is Trump's adviser on foreign policy. He is a known businessman; he used to


work in Russia. . . . I f you have any questions, I will be happy to help contact him."sm Dmitri
Klimentov then contacted Russian Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov about Page's visit to see if
Peskov wanted to introduce Page to any Russian govermnent officials.ss4 The following day,
Peskov responded to what appears to have been the same Denis Klimentov-Zakharova email
thread. Peskov wrote, "I have read about [Page], Specialists say that he is far from being the inain
one, So I better not initiate a meeting in the Kremlin." '

On July 7, 2016, Page delivered the first of his two speeches in Moscow at NES.sss In the
speech, Page criticized the U.S. government's foreign policy toward Russia, stating that
"Washington and other Western capitals lieve impeded potential progress through their often
hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and mgiine change.'usr
On July 8, 2016, Page delivered a speech during the NES commencement.sss After Page delivered
his commencement address, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and NES board member Arkady
Dvorkovich spoke at the ceremony and stated that the sanctions the United States had imposed on
Russia had hmt the NES,ss' Page and Dvorkovich shook hands at the commencement ceremony,
and Weber recalled that Dvorkovich made statements to Pa e about workin t o ether in the
future.'"

Page said that, during his time in Moscow, he met with friends and associates he knew
from when helived in Russia,including Andrey Baranov, a former Gazprom employee who had
become the head of investor relations at Rosnefts a Russian energy company.sr Page stated that
he and Baranov talked about "immaterial non-public" information.srs Page believed he and
Baranov discussed Rosneft president Igor Sechin, and he thought Baranov might have mentioned

' ' 7/5/I 6 Email, Klimentov to Zakharova (translated).


"4 Dm. Klimentov 1U27/18 302, at 1-2.
' ' 7/6/16 Email, Peskov to Klimentov (translated).
'" Page 3/1 0/1 7302, at 3.
See Carter W. Page, The Leo/ere g I y w np's Advisor Carter Page in Moscow, YouTube.
Channel Katehon Think Tank, Posted July 7, 2016, available ur https:/Iwww.youtube,corn/watchy
time continue=28Jbv = l CYF29saA9w. Page also provided the FBI with a copy of his:speech and slides
I'rom the speech, See Carter Page, "The Evolution of the World Economy: Trends and Potential," Speech
at National Economic Speech (July 7, 2016),
"' Page 3/10/17 302, at 3.
Page 3/1 6/17 302, at 3.
ws S, Weber 7/28/17 302, at 4.
au

'n Page 3/10/17 302, at 3; Page 3/30/I 7 302, at 3; Page 3/31/1 7 302, at 2.
'w Page 3/30/17 302, at 3.

100
U.S. Department of Justice

the possibility of a sale of a stake in Rosnelt in passing.' 4 Page recalled mentioning his
involvement in the Trump Campaign with Baranov, although he did not remember details of the
conversation,'7 Page also met with individuals from Tatneft, a Russian energy company, to
discuss possible business deals, including having Page work as a consultant.

On July g, 2016, while he was in Moscow, Page emailed several Campaign officials and
suited he would send "a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I' ve received
from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the Presidential Administration here."~
Qn July 9, 2016, Page emailed Clovis, writing in pertinent part;

Russian Deputy Prime minister and NES board member Arkady Dvorkovich also spoke
before the event. In a private conversation, Dvorkovich expressed strong support for Mr.
Trump and a desire, to work together toward devising better solutions in response to the
vast range of cunent. international problems. Based on feedback from a diverse array of
other sources close to the Presidential Administration, it was readily apparent that this
sentiment is widely held at all levels of government.s

Des ite these re resentations to the C ai

T e 0 fice was unab e to obtiun a i t ional evi ence or testimony about who Page
may have met or communicated with in Moscow; thus, Page's activities in Russia — as described
in his emails with the Campaign —were not fully explained.

'ii P e 3/30/17 302 at 9.

Page 3/30/17 302, at 3.


Page 3/10/17 302, at 3; Page 3/30/I 7 302, at 7; Page 3/31/17 302, at 2.
7/8/16 Email, Page to Dahl dt Gordon.
7/9/16 Email, Page to Clovis.
5w

SS2

101
U.S. Department of Justice
ll

d. Later Cam
paign Workand Jfernovaf from rite Cantpulgn
In July 2016, alter returning from Russia, Page traveleil to the Republican National
Convention in Cleveland.s" W hile there, Page met Russian Ambassador to the United States
Sergey Kislyak; that interaction is described in Volume I, Section IV.A.6,a, infra.s 4 Page later
emailed Campaign officials with feedback he said he received fmm ambassadors he had met at the
Convention, and he wrote that Ambassador Kisl ak was ver worried about candidate Clinton's
world views.

Following the Convention, Page's trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russia foreign
policy drew the media's attention and began to generate substantial press coverage. The Campaign
responded by distanoing itself from Page, describing him as an "informal foreign policy advisor"
who did "not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign," s On September 23, 2016, Yahoo! News
reported that U.S. intelligence officials were investigating whether Page had opened private
communications with senior Russian officials to discuss U.S. sanctions policy under a possible
Trump Administration,sss A Campaign spokesman told Yahoo! News that Page had "no role" in
the Campaign and that the Campaign was "not aware of any of his activities, past or present."s s
On September 24, 2016, Page was formally remaved from the Campaign,sss

Although Page had been removed from the Campaign, after the election he sought a
position in the Trump Administration. in On November 14, 2016, he submitted an application to
the Transition Team that inflated his credentials and experiences, stating that in his capacity as a
Trump Campaign foreign policy advisor he had met with "top world leaders" and "effectively

" Page 3/1'0/17 302, at 4; Page 3/16/17 302, at 3.


m Page 3/10/17 302, at 4; Page 3/16l17 302, at 3,
„' 7l23/16 Email, Page ta Clovis; 7/25/16 Email,
Page to Gor on tk Sclunitz.
58s

"s See, e,g., Steven Mufson tk Tom Hamburger, Trump Advisor's Public Comments, Ties to
Moscow Stir Unease in Both Parties, Washington Post (Aug. 5, 2016).
"s Michael Isikoff, U Z Intel Oltf cials Probe Ties Between Trtonp Adviser ond Kremlin, Yahoo l
News (Sept. 23, 2016).
Michael Isikoff, US, Intel Officials Probe Ties Between Trump Adviser and Kremlin, Yahoo!
News (Sept. 23, 2016),'see also 9/25/16 Email, Hicks to Conway bt Bannon (instructing that inquiries about
Page should be answered with "[h]e wss announced as an informal adviser in March Since then he hss
had no rale or official contact with the campaign. We have no knowledge of activities past or present and
he now officially hss been removed from all lists etc."),
' ' Page 3/16l17 302, at 2; see, e.g., 9/23/16 Email, J. MIIIer to Bannon Bc S, Miller (discussing
plans to remove Rage froin the campaign).
591
, "Transition Online Farm," 11/14/16 ~

102
U.S. Department of Justice
//

responded to diplomatic outreach efforts from senior government officials in Asia, Europe, the
Middle Eam, Attica, [and] the Americas."ss Page received no response Irom the Transition Team.
When Page took a personal ttip to Moscow in December 2016„he met again with at least one
Russian government official; That interaction and a discussion of the December trip are set forth
in Volume I, Section IV.B.6, inPu.

4, Di mitri Simes and the Center for t e National Interest

Members of the Trump Campaign interaeted on several occasions with the Center for the
National Interest (CNI), principally through its President and Chief Executive Officer, Dimitri
Simes. CNI is a think tank with expertise in and connections to the Russian government, Simes
was born in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. In April
2016, candidate Trump delivered his first speech on foreign policy and national security at an event
hosted by the7/uii onal Interest„a publication affiliated with CNI. Then-Senator Jeff Sessions and
Russian Ambassador- Kislyak both attended the event and, as a result, it gained some attention in
relatiott to Sessions's confirmation hearings to become Attorney General. Sessions had various
other contacts with CNI during the campaign period on foreign-policy matters, including Russia.
Jared Kushner also interacted with Simes about Russian issues during the campaign. The
investigation did not identify evidence that the Campaign passed or received any messages to or
from the Russian government through CNI or Simes.

a C1t/Iand DimitriSi aes Cuaaeci tvirh the Tramp Cuarpulgrt

CNI is a Washington-based non-profit organization that grew out of a center founded by


former President Richard Nixon.' s CNI describes itself "as a voice for strategic realism in U.S.
foreign policy," and publishes a bi-monthly foreign policy magazine, the National Interest.'s4 CNI
is overseen by a board of directors and an advisory council that is largely honorary and whose
members at the relevant time included Sessions, who served as an advisor to candidate Trump on
national security and foreign policy issues, s

Dimitri Simes is president and CEO of CNI and the publisher and CEO of the Ji/utrbnal
Interest. + Simes was born in the former Soviet Union, emigrated to the United States in the early
1970s, and joined CNI's predecessor after working at the Carnegie Endmvment for International

"Transition Online Form," 11/14/1 6

' Simes 3/8/18 302, at 1-2.


'~ About the Center, CM, avai1able urhttps,'//cttni.org/about/.

Advisory C ounsel, CN I , uv u i7aMe ut htt ps:I/web.archive,org/web/20161030'02533 1/


http.//cftni.org/about/advisory-council/; Simes 3/8/18 302, at 3-4; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 4; Sessions
1/17/18 302, at 16,
"' Slmes 3/8/18302, at2.

103
U,S. Department of Justice

Peace. Si m es personally has many contacts with current and former Russian government
officials,sos as does CNI collectively. A s CNI stated when seeking a grant from the Carnegie
Corporation in 2015, CNI has "unparalleled access to Russian officials and politicians among
Washington think tanks,"soo in part because CNI has arranged for U.S. delegations to visit Russia
and for Russian delegations to visit the United States as part of so-called "Tiack II" diplomatic
efforts soo

On March 14, 2016, CNI board member Richard Plepler organized a luncheon for CNI and
its honorary chairman, Henry Kissinger, at the Time Warner Building in New York.s ' The idea
behind the event was to generate interest in CNI's work and recruit new board members for CNI soo
Along with Sim'es, attendees at the event included Jared Kushner, son-in-law of candidate
Trump.~ Kushner told the Office that the event came at a time when the Trump Campaign was
having trouble securing support from experienced foreign policy professionals and that, as aresult,
he decided to seek Simes's assistance during the March 14 event.s "

Simes and Kusimer spoke again on a March 24, 2016 telephone call,~' three days after
Trump had publicly named the team of foreign policy advisors that had been put together on short
notice.o+ On March 31, 2016, Simes and Kushner had an in-person, one-on-one meeting in
Kushner's New York office. " D uring that meeting, Simes told Kushner that the best way to
handle foreign-policy issues for the Trump Campaign would be to organize an advisory group of
experts to meet with candidate Trump and develop a foreign policy appmach that was consistent
with Trump's voice, Si mes believed that Kushner was receptive to that suggestion.

Simes also had contact with other individuals associated with the Trump Campaign
regarding the Campaign's foreign policy positions, For example, on June 17, 2016, Simes sent
J.D, Gordon an email with a "memo to Senator Sessions that we discus'sed at our recent meeting"

's7 Simes 3/8/18 302, at 1-2; Simes 3/27/I 8 302, at 19.


's Simes 3/27/18 302, at 10-15.

C00011656 (Rethinking US.-Russia Relations, CNI (Apr. 18, 2015)).


"' Simes3/8/I8 302,at5;Saunders2/15/18 302,at29-30;Zakheim 1/25/18 302,at3.
en Simes 3/8/18 302, at 6; C00006784 (3/11/16 Email, Gilbride to Saunders (3:43:12 p.m.'),' cf.
Zakheim I/25/I 8 302, at I (Kissinger was CNI's "Honorary Chairman of the Board"); Boyd I/24/18 302,
at 2; P. Sanders 2/15/18 302, at 5.
Simes 3/8/18 302, at5-6;Simes 3/27/18 302, at2.
3 Simes 3/8/18 302, at 6; Kushner 4/11/18 302 at2.
" Kushner 4/1 I/18 302, at 2.
' Simes 3/8/I 8 302, at 6-7.
6W
see Volume I„Section IV.A,2, supra
~ Simes 3/8/18 302, at 7-9.
'Simes 3/8/I8 302, at7-8.
w' Simes 3/8/I 8 302, at 8, see a/sa Boyd I/24l18 302, at 2,

104
U.S. Department of )ustice
//

and asked Gordon to both read it and share it with Sessions. The memorandum proposed building
a "small and carefully selected group of experts" to assist Sessions with the Campaign, operating
under the assumption "that Hillary Clinton is very vulnet'able on national security and foreign
policy issues."' The memorandum outlined key issues for the Campaign, including a "new
beginning with Russia "s m

b. Narlonal Inicresr Hostsu Foreign Poiicy Speech ui the Muyflowes Hotel

During both their March 24 phone call and their March 31 in-person meeting, Simes and
Kushner discussed the possibility of CNI hosting a foreign policy speech by candidate Trump. "
Following those conversations, Simes agreed that he and others associated with CNI would
provide behind-the-scenes input on the substance of the foreign-policy speech and that CNI
officials would ooordinate the logistics of the speech with Sessions and his staff, including
Sessions's chief of staff, Rick Dearborn/"

In mid-April 2016, Kushner put Simes in contact with senior policy advisor Stephen Miller
and forwarded to Simes an outline of the foreign-policy speech that Miller had prepared. ' Simes
sent back to the Campaign bullet points with ideas for the speech that he had drafted with CNI
Executive Director Paul Saunders and board member Richard Burt,s'4 Simes received subsequent
draft outlmes from Miller, and he and Saunders spoke to Miller by phone about substantive
changes to the speech.ms It is nnt clear, however, whether CNI officials received an actual draft
of the speech for comment; while Saunders recalled having received an actual draft, Simes did not,
and the emails that CNI produced to this Offlce do not contain such a draft s'

After board members expressed concern to Simes that CNI's hosting the speech could be
perceived as an endorsement of a particular candidate, CNI decided to have its publication, the
National Interest, serve as the host and to have the event at the National Press Club. ' K u s bner
later requested that the event be moved to the Mayflower Hotel, which was another venue that
Simes had mentioned during initial discussions with the Campaign, in order to address concerns
about security and capacity. ' s

" C00008187 (6/17/16 Email, Simes to Gordon (3:35:45 p.m.)).


" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 7.
~u Simes 3/8/18 302, at 8-11; C00008923 (4/6/16 Email, Simes to Burt (2:22:28 p.m.)); Burt 2/9/18
3Q2, at7.
xu C00008551 (4/17/16 Email, Kushner to Simes (2:44:25 p.m.)); C00006759 (4/14/16 Email
Kushner to Simes k. S. Miller (12'.3Q p.m.)).
'~Burt2/9/18 302,at 7;Saunders2/15/18 302,at7-8.
s" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 13; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 7-8.
'" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 13; Saunders 2/15/1 8 3Q2, at 7-8.
" Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 8; Simes 3/8/18 302, at 12,' COOOQ3834-43 (4/22/16 Email„Simes to
Boyd et al. (8:47 a.m.)).
" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 12, 1'81 Saunders 2/1 5/18 302, at 11.

105
U.S. Department of Justice
//

On April 25, 2016, Saunders booked event rooms at the Mayflower to host both the speech
and a VIP reception that was to be held beforehand.ms Saunders understood that the reception-
at which im itees would have the chance to meet candidate Trump — would be a small event,
Saunders decided who would attend by looking at the list of CNI's invitees to the speech itself and
then choosing a subset for the reception.m' CNI's invitees to the reception included Sessions and
Kislyak.mt The week before the speech Simes had informed Kislyak that he would be invited to
the speech, and that he would have the opportunity to meet Trump.s+

When the pre-speech reception began on April 27, a receiving line was quickly organized
so that attendees could meet Trump. S e ssions first stood next to Trump to introduce him to the
members of Congress who were in attendanoe. ' A f ter those members had been introduced,
Simes stood next to Trump arid introduced him to the CNI invitees in attendance, including
Kislyak.+s Simes perceived the introduction to be positive and Iriendly, but thought it clear that
Kislyak and Trump had just met for the first time.s 7 Kislyak also met Kushner during the pre-
speech reception, The two shook hands and chatted for a minute or two, during which Kushner
recalled Kislyak saying, "we like what your candidate is saying.. . it's refreshing/+zs

Several public reports state that, in addition to speaking to Kushner at the pre-speech
reception, Kislyak also met or conversed with Sessions at that time.s~s Sessions stated to
investigators, however, that he did not remember any such conversation. t N or did anyone else
affiliated with CNI or the National Interest specifically recall a conversation or meeting between
Sessions and Kislyak at the pre-speech reception. " I t appears that, if a conversation occurred at
the pre-speech reception, it was a brief one conducted in public view, similar to the exchange
between Kushner and Kislyak,

'" Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 11-12; C00006651-57 (Mayflower Group Sales Agreement),
s Saunders 2/1 5/18 302, at 12-13,
' Saunders 2/15/1 8 302, at 12.
's C00002575 (Attendee List); C00008536 (4/25/1 6 Email, Simes to Kusbner (4:53;45 p.m.)).
'~ Simes 3/8/18 302, at 19-20.

Simes 3/8/18 302, at 21,


"' Sa es 3/8/18302, at21.
s Simes 3/8/1 8 302, at 21.
" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 21.
ss Kushner 4/11/18 3Q2 at 4.
'ss See, e.g., Ken Dilenian, Did Tru p, Xushner, Sessions Have an Undisclosed Meeting Ifith
Russian?, NBC News (June 1, 2016}; Julia Ioffe, Why Did Jeff Sesstons Really Meet Itrtth Ser gey Lis Jyak,
'The Atlantic (June 13, 2017).
"' Sessions 1/17/18 3Q2, at 22.
' ' Simes 3/8/1 & 302, at 21; Saunders 2/15/1 8 302, at 14, 21; Boyd 1/24/1 8 302, at 3-4; Heilbtutm
2/1/18 302, at 6; Statement Regard'ing President Trump's April 27, 20/O'Foreign Policy Speech at the
Center for the Hattonat Interest, CNI (Msr. 8, 2017).
U.S. Department of Justice
/l

The Offlce found no evidence that Kislyak conversed with either Trump or Sessions after
the speech, or would have had the apportunity to do sa. Simes, for example, did not recall seeing
Kislyak at the post-speech luncheon,s and the only witness who accounted for Sessions's
whereabouts stated that Sessions may have spoken to the press after the event but then departed
for Capitol Hill . Sa unders recalled, based in part on a food-related request he received fram a
Campaign staff member, that Trump left the hotel a few minutes after the speech to go to the
airport.m4

c. Jeff Sessions 's Post-Speech Interactions with C/4/I

In the wake of Sessions's confnmation hearings as Attorney General, questions arose about
whether Sessions's campaign-period interactions with CNI apart tram the Mayflower speech
included any additional meetings with Ambassador Kislyak or involved Russian-related matters.
With respect ta Kislyak contacts, on May 23,2016, Sessions attendedCNI's Distinguished Service
Award dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D,C. s Sessions attended a prc-darner
reception and was seated at one of two head tables I'o r the event ms A seating chart prepared by
Saunders indicates that Sessions was scheduled to be seated next to Kislyak, who appears to have
responded to the invitation by indicating he would attend the event ss" Sessions, however, did not
remember seeing, speaking with, or sitting next to Kislyak at the dinner. s Although CM board
member Charles Boyd said he may have seen Kislyak at the dinner ss Simes, Saunders, and Jacob
Heilbrunn — editor of the Not/ann/ Interest —all had no recollectian of seemg Kislyak at the May
23 event.s K i s lyak also does not appear in any of the photos from the event that the Gffice
obtained.

In the summer of 2016, CNI organized at least two dinners in Washington, D.C. for
Sessions to meet with experienced foreign policy professionals/4' The dinners included CNI-
afflliated individuals, such as Richard Burt and Zalmay Khalilzad, a former U.S. ambassador to
Afghanistan and Iraq and the person who had introduced Trump before the April 27, 2016 foreign-

Simes 3/8/1 8 302, at 22; Heilbrunn 2/1/18 302, at 7.


's Luff I/30/18 302, at 4.
a4 Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 15.
" Sessions ill 7/18 302, at 72; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 17.
'4 Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 17; CQQQ04779-80 (5/23/16 Email, Cantelmo to Saunders k Hagberg
(9:30:12 a.m.); C00004362 (5/23/1 6 Email, Bauman to Cantelmo et al. (2:02:32 a.m.).
en C00004362 (5/23/16 Email Bauman to Cantelmo et al, (2,02:32 a.m.).
Sessions 1/17/18 3 02, at 22.
" B o yd 1/24/18 3Q2, at4.
44' Simes 3/8/18 302, at 23; Saunders 2/I 5/1 8 302, at 18; Heilbnmn 2/I/18 302, at 7.
'4' Simes 3l8/18 302, at31; Saunders 2/15/18 302, at19; Burt2/9/18302, at 9-10; Khalilzad1/9/18
302, at 5.

107
U.S. Department of Justice
/'/

policy speech.~r Khalilzad also met with Sessions one-on-one separately fi'om the dinners.sos At
the dinners and in the meetings, the participants addressed U,S. relations with Russia, including
how U.S. relations with NATO and European countries affected U.S. policy toward Russia.s44 But
the discussions were not exclusively focused on Russia,~' K h alilzad, for example, recalled
discussing "nation-building" and violent extremism with Sessions.s~s In addition, Sessions asked
Saunders (of CNI) to draft two memoranda not specific to Russia: one on Hillary Clinton's foreign
policy shortcomings and another on Egypt.

d. Jared Xushner's-Continuing Contactswith Sintes

Between the April 2016 speech at the Mayflower Hotel and the presidential election, Jared
Kushner had periodic, contacts with Simes. T h ose contacts consisted of both in-person meetings
and phone conversafions, winch concerned how to address issues relating to Russia in the
Campaign and how to move forward with the advisory gmup of foreign policy experts that Simes
had proposed.s Simes recalled that he, not Kushner, initiated all conversations about Russia, snd
that Kushner never asked him to set up back-channel conversations with Russians.ss According
to Simes, afier the Mayflower speech in late April, Simes raised the issue of Russian contacts with
Kushner, advised that it was bad optics for the Campaign to develop hidden Russian contacts, and
told Kushner both that the Campaign should not highlight Russia as an issue and should handle
any contacts with Russians with care.s ' Kuslmer generally provided a similar account of his
interactions with Simes,s's

Among the Kushner-Simes meetings was one held on August 17, 2016, at Simes's request,
in Kushner's New York office, The meeting was to address foreign policy advice that CNI was
providing and how to respond to the Clinton Campaign's Russia-related attacks on candidate

64~ Burt 2/9/1 8 302, at 9-10,' Khalilzad 1/9/18 302, at 1-2, 5,

Khalilzad 1/9/1 8 302, at 5-6,


~i Simes 3/8/18 302, at 31,' Burt 2/9/1 8 302, at 9-10; Khalilzad 1/9/18.302, at 5.
its Saunders 2/15/18 302, at 20.
'i K halilzad 1/9/18 302, at 6.
' Saunders 2/15/1 8 302, at 19-20.
' s Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.
'49 Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.

Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27.


" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 27. During this period of time, the Campaign received a request for a high-
level Campaign official to meet with an officer at a Russian state-owned bank "to discuss an offer [that
officer] claims to be carrying from President Putin to meet with" candidate Trump. NOSC00005653
(5/17/16 Email, Dearborn to Kushner (8:12 a.m.)), Copymg Manafort and Oates, Kushner responded, "Pass
on this. A lot of people come claiming to carry messages. Uery few are able to verify. For now I think we
decline such meetings. Most likely these people go back home and claim they have special access to gain
importance for themselves, Be careful.'* NOSC00005653 (5/17/16 Email, Kushner to Dearborn).
~' Kushner 4/1 1/18 302, at 11-13.
U.S. Department. of Justice
//

Trump. s' In advance of the meeting„Simes sent Kushner a "Russia. Policy Memo" laying out
"what Mr. Trump may want to say about Russia."ss" In a cover email transmitting that memo and
a phone call to set up the meeting, Simes mentioned "a well-documented story of highly
questionable connections between Bill Clinton" and the Russian government, "parts of [which]"
(according to Simes) had even been "discussed with the CIA and the FBI in the late 1990s and
shared with the [Independent Counsel] at the end of the Clinton presidency."~s K ushner
forwarded the email to senior Trump Campaign officials Stephen Miller, Paul Manafort, and Rick
Crates, with the note "suggestion only." Man afort subsequently forwarded the email to his
assistant and scheduled a meeting with Simes.ssr (Manafort was on 'the verge of leaving the
Campaign by the time of the scheduled meeting with Simes, and Simes ended up meeting only
with Kushner).

During the August 17 meeting, Simes provided Kushner the Clinton-related information
that he had romised.ass Simes told Kushner that

Simes claimed that he ha receiv i s m f ormation from former


CI a nd Reagan l u te House official Fritz Ermarth, who claimed to have learned it from U.S.
intelligence sources, not from Russians,

Simes perceived that Kushner did not find the information to be of interest or use to the
Campaign because it was, in Simes*s words, "old news,"'ast When interviewed by the Office,
Kushner stated that he believed that there was little chance of something new being revealed about
the Clintons given their long career as public figures, and that he never received from Simes
information that could be "opemtionalized" for the Trump Campaign,+t D espite Kushner's

'" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 29-30; Simes 3/27/18 302, at 6; Kushner 4/I I/18 302, at 12; C00007269
(8/I 0/16 Meeting Invitation, Verges to Simes et al.); D JTFP00023484 (8/I I/16 Email, Hagan to Manafort
(5:57:15 p.m.)).
~ C00007981-84 (8/9/16 Email, Simes to Kushner (6.'09:21 p.m.)). T h'e memorandum
recommended "downplaying Russia as a U.S. foreign policy priority at this time" and suggested that "some
tend to exaggerate Putin's flaws," The memorandum also recommended, approaching general Russian-
related questions in the framework of "how to work with Russia to advance important U.S. national
i nterests" and that a Trump Administration "not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy," T h e
memorandum did not discuss sanctions but did address how to handle Ukraine-related questions, including
questions about Russia" s invasion and annexation of Crimea.
~r C00007981 (8/9/16 Email, Simes to Kushner (6.09:21 P.m.)).
" DJTFP00023459 (8/10/16 Email, Kushner to S. Miller et al. (11:30:13 a.m.)),
DJTFP00023484 (8/I I/16, Email, Hagan to Manafort (5:57:15 p,m.)).
" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 29-30; Simes 3/27/18 302, at 6; Kushner 4/I I/18 302, at 12,
'rr Simes 3/8/18 302, at 30; Simes 3/27/18 302, at 6.
" Simes 3/8/18 302, at 30.
"' Simes 3/8/18 302, at 30; Simes 3/27/I 8 302, at 6.
' Kushner 4/I I/18 302, at 12.

109
V,S. Department of Justice
//

reaction, Simes believed that he provided the same information at a small group meeting of foreign
policy experts that CNI organized for Sessions.

5. June 9 2016 Meetin t T r um T o wer

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with
a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the
Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email Irom Robert
Goldstone, at the request ofhis then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer
Aras Agalarov. Goldstone relayed to Trmnp Jr. that the "Crown prosecutor of Russia... offered
to provide the Trump Campaign with some official documents and information that would
incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia" as "part of Russia and its government's support
for Mr. Trump." Trump Jr. immediately responded that "if it's what you say I love it,*' and arranged
the meeting thmugh a series of emails and telephone calls.

Trump Jr. invited campaign chairman Paul Manafort and senior advisor Jared Kushner to
attend the meeting, and both attended. Members of the Campaign discussed the meeting before it
occurred, and Michael Cohen recalled that Trump Jr. may have told candidate Trump about an
upcoming meeting to receive adverse infor'mation about Clinton, without linking the meeting, to
Russia. According to written answers submitted by President Trump, he has no recollection of
learning of the meeting at the time, and the Office found no documentary evidence showing that he
was made aware of 'the meeting — or its Russian connection — before it occurred.

The Russian attorney who spoke at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had previously
worked for the Russian government and maimained a relationship with that government throughout
this period of time. She claimed that funds derived from illegal activities in Russia were provided
to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. Trump Jr. requested evidence to support those claims, but
Veselnitskaya did not provide such information. She and her associates then turned to a critique of
the origins of the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 statute that imposed finanoial and travel sanctions on
Russian officials and that resulted in a retaliatory ban on adoptions of Russian children. Trump Jr.
suggested that the issue could be revisited when and if candidate Trump was elected, After the
election, Veselnitskaya made additional efforts to follow up on the meeting, but the Trump
Transition Team did not engage.

a. getting Up the June 9/Ifeeting

i. Outreach /a Donald TrumpJr.


Aras Agalarov is a Russian real-estate developer with ties to Putin and other members of
the Russian government, including Russia's Prosecutor General, Yuri Chaika.s" Aras Agalarov
is the president of the Crocus Group, a Russian enterprise that holds substantial Russian
government construction contracts and that — as discussed above„Volume I, Section IV.A, I, supra

s+ Simes 3/8/18 302, at 30.


654
Goldstone 2/8/I 8 302,

110
U.S. Department of Justice
//

— worked with Trump in connection with the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and a
potential Trump Moscow real-estate project 66' The relationship continued over time, as the parties
pursued the Trump Moscow project in 2013-2014 and exchanged gifts and letters in 2016.666 For
example, in April 2016, Trump responded to a letter fram Aras Agalarov with a handwritten
note.~ A ras Agalarov expressed interest in Trump's campaign, passed on "congratulations" for
winning in the primary and — according to one email drafted by Goldstone — an '*offer" of his
"support and that af many of his important Russian friends and colleagues[,] especially with
reference to U.S./Russian relations." 6

On June 3, 2016, Emin Agalamv called Goldstone, Emin's then-publicist.ss Goldstone is


a music and events promoter who represented Emin Agalamv from appraximately late 2012 until
late 2016. 7' W h ile representing Emin Agalarov, Goldstone facilitated the ongoing contact
between the Trumps and the Agalarovs — includin an invitation that Trum sent to Putin ta attend
the 2013 Miss Universe Pa cant in Moscow.

ol stone understood
Russian political connection, and Emin Aga arov indrcated that e attorney was a prosecutor. 7s
Goldstone recalled that the information that mi ht interest the Trum s involved Hill Cli n ton

Kaveladze
11/16/17 302, at 3; hugart 9 25/1 7 302, at 2-3;
Goldstone 2/8/18 302, at 10; ~
• 4 Kaveladze 1 1/16/17 302, at 5-6; 4/25/1 6 Email, Graff'to Goldstone.
' RG000033-34 (4/25/16 Email, Graff to Goldstone (attaduncnt)).
"' DJTJR00008 2/29/16 Email Goldstone ta Tram Jr. et al, •

6w Call Records of Robert Goldstone


~ G It t 2/8/ 1 8 382, t t .
Goldstone 2/8/18 302, at 1-2; Beniaminav 1/6/18 302„
at 3.
'7' Goldstone 2/8/18 302, at 1-5; D JT JR0000'8
(2/29/19 Email, Goldstone to Trump Jr.); Beniaminov 16/18 302, at ; hu gart 9/25I17 302, at 2,'
TRUMPORG 18 001325 (6/21/13 Email, GaldstonetoGrsfl); TRUMPORG 18 001013 (6/24/13 Email,
Goldstone t o Gr aft); T R UMPORG 18 001014 ( 6/24/13 E mail, G r af f to Sh ugart);
TRUMPORG 18 001018 (6/26/13 Email, Graff to Goldstone),' TRUMPORG 18 001022 (6/27/1 3 Email,
Graff t a L , Ke l ly); T R UMPORG 18 001333 (9/12/13 Email, G oldstone t o G r aff, Shugart);
MUO00004289 (7/27/13 Email, Goldstone to Graff, Shugart).
see Goldstone 2/8/18 302, at 6-7.
673

674
U.S, Department of Justice
//

The mentioned by Emin Agalarov was Natalia


Veselnitskaya. F r om approximately 998 unti 2001, Veselnitskaya worked as a prosecutor for
the Central Administr'ative District of the Russian Prosecutor's Office,s 7 and she continued to
perform government-related work and maintain ties to the Russian government following her
departure 7 S h e lobbied and testified about the Magnitsky Act, which imposed financial
sanctions and travel reshictions on Russian officials and which was named for a Russian tax
specialist who exposed a fraud and later died in a Russian prison.s7s Putin called the statute "a
pumly political„unfriendly act," and Russia responded by barring a list of current and former U.S.
officials from entering Russia and by halting the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens ssc
Veselnitskaya performed legal work for Denis Katsyv,ssi the son of Russian businessman Peter
Katsyv, and for his company Prevezon Ho1dings Ltd., which was a defendant in a civil-forfeiture
action alleging the laundering of proceeds from the I'rand exposed by Magnitsky. s She also

675

m' In December 2018, a grand jury in the Southern District of New York returned an indictment
charging Veselnitskaya with obstructing the Prsvezon litigation discussed in the text above. Sec Indictment,
United States v. I /Iatatta Vladlmirovna Peselnitskaya, No. 18-cr-904 (S.D,N, Y,). The indictment alleges,
among other things, that Veselnitskaya lied to the district court about her relationship to the Russian
Prosecutor General*s Offiee and her involvement in responding to a U.S. document request sent to the
Russian government,
'V i /i u l l /2 0 / / / B IN / / // 8 /* C ~ lt i/ i d '~ SR~

ins Testimony of Natalia Veselnitskaya Before the Senate Committee on Judiciary (Nov, 20, 2017)
at 33; Keir Simmons A Rachel Elbaum„Russtan Lawyer Jrssslnttsttaya Says Shs Didn 't Give Trump Jr.
Info on Clinton, NBC News (July 11, 2017); Maria Tsvetkova //h Jack Stubbs, Moscow Lawyer II7to Mat
Trump Jr. Had Busstan Spy Agency As Client, Reuters (July 21, 2017); Andrew E, Kramer gc Sharon
Lapraniere„Lawysr IPho Ipas Said to Have Dirt an Cltnton Had. Clossr Ties to Kremlin, than Shs Let On,
New York Times (Apr. 27, 2018),
s~ See Pub. L. No. 112-208 tj) 402, 404(a)(1), 126 Stat, 1502„1502-1506. Sergei Magnitsky was
a Russian tax speciahst who worked for William Browder, a former investment fund manager in Russia.
Browder hired Magnitsky to investigate tax fraud by Russian ofhcials, and Magnitsky was charged with
help'mg Browder embezzle money. Afier Magnitsky died in a Russian prison, Browder lobbied Congress
to pass the Magnitsky Act. See, e,g.,Andrew E. Krsmer, Turning Tables tn Magnitshy Case, Russia
Accuses ¹mssts of Murder, New York Times (Oct. 22, 2017); Testimony of Natalia Veselnitskaya Before
the Senate Committee on Judiciary (Nov. 20, 2017), Exhibits at 1-4; Rosie Gray,,Bill Browdsr 's Tesgmony
to ths Senate Juch'ctary Commtttee, The Atlantic (July 25, 2017),
"' Ellen Barry,It ussta Bars I B Americans After Sanctions byUSNew York Times (Apr. 13, 2013);
Tom Porter, Supportsrs of the Magnttshy Act Claim They' ve Bean Targets of Russian Assassination and
Eidnapptng Bigs, Newsweek (July 16„2017).
's' Testimony of Natalia, Veselnitskaya Before the Senate Committee on Judiciary (Nov. 20, 2017),
at 21.
Sse Veseinitskaya Decl., Unttsd States v, Prevsson Holdings, Ltd, No. 13-cv-6326 (S.D.N.Y.);
sec Prsveson Holdings, Second Amended Complaint; Prsvszon Hotdtngs, Mem. and Order; Prcvsson
Holdings, Deposition of Oleg Lurie.

112
U.S, Department of Justice
//

appears to have been involved in an April 2016 approach to a U.S. congressional delegation in
Moscow offering "confidential information" f'rom *'the Prosecutor General of Russia" about
"interactions between certain political forces in our two countries.'

Shartly after his June 3 call with Emin Agalaiov, Goldstone emailed Trump Jr.css The
email stated:

Goodmorning
Ernielust calledsndsskmtmetocontent ycuwith somethingvmyinteresting,
1'heCrownprosecutor ofRussiamet withhisfather AranIbis m
orning endintheir m
eeting ogersdtoprovidetheTrumpcampaignvdth
someoffidsl documentsandinformation that wouldincriminate Hilaryendherdealingswith Rurwtssndwould bevery usefulto yourfather.
This isobviouslyveryhighlevel sndsensitiveinformskonbutis pmtofRussiaandIts government's supporttcr Mr.Trump- helpedalongby
ArsesndEmin.
Whatdoyouthink is thebest wsyto handlethis informationsndwouldyoubeable tospeak to Eminshout it direcgyy
I canalso sendthis infotoyourfather vis Rhons,butft Isultra sensitivesowantedto sendto youlrst,
Best
RobGoldstone

Within minutes af this email, Trump Jr. responded, enudling back: "Thanks Rob I appreciate that.
I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time
and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next
week when I am back?~ G o ldstone conveyed Trump Jr.'s interest to Emin Agalarov, emailing
that Trump Jr. "wants ta speak personally on the issue." sc

On June 6, 2016, Emin Agalarov asked Goldstane if there was "[a]ny news„" and Goldstone
explained that Trump Jr. was likely still traveling for the "final elections.. . where [T]rump will
be 'crowned' the official nominee.*+s On the same day, Galdstone again emailed Trump Jr. and
asked when Tmmp Jr. was "free to talk with Emin about this Hillary info.cess Trump Jr. asked if

See Gribbin tt/31/17 3'02, at 1-2 tb 1A (undated one-page docuinent given to congressianal
delegation). The Russian Prosecutor General is an official with bmad national responsibilities in the
Russian legal system. See FederalLaw ari the Froseerttar's Office af the Russtirn Federation (1992,
amended 2004),
" RG000061 (6/3/16 Email, Goldstone to Trumy Jr.); DJTJR00446 (6/3/16 Email, Goldstone to
Donald Trump Jr,),' @DanaldJTrumy Jr 07/1 1/17 (11:00) Tweet.
"' DJTJR00446 (6/3/16 Email, Trump Jr. to Goldstone),' NDonaldJTrumpJr 07/11/17 (11.00)
Tweet; RG000061 (6/3/16 Email, Trump Jr. to Goldstone).
RG000062 (6/3/16 Email, Goldstone dr Trump Jr.).
" RG000063 (6/6/16 Emu' A, Agalarov to Goldstone); RG000064 (6/6/16 Email, Goldstone to
A. Agalarov),
' RG000065 (6/6/16 Email, Goldstone to Trump Jr.); DJTJR00446 (6/6/16 Email, Goldstone to
Trumy Jr,).

113
U.S. Department of Justice
//

they could "speak now," and Goldstone arranged a call between Trump Jr. and Emin Agalarov ssa
On June 6 and June 7, Trump Jr. and Emin Agalarov had multiple brief calls.

Also on June 6, 2016, Aras Agalarov called Ike Kaveladze and asked him to attend a
meeting in New York with the Trump Organization, s' Kaveladze is a Georgia-born, naturalized
U.S. citizen who worked in the United States for the Crocus Group and reported to Aras
Agalarov, K a v eladze told the Of6ce that, in a second phone call on June 6, 2016, Aras Aga1arov
asked Kaveladze if he knew anything about the Magnitsky Act, and Aras sent him a short synopsis
for the meeting and Veselnitskaya's business card. According to Kaveladze, Ares Agalarov said
the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Magnitsky Act, and he asked Kaveladze to
translate.'"

ii. Awareness of the /9feeting Jirithjn the Campaign

On June 7, Goldstone emailed Trump Jr, and said that "Emin asked that I schedule a
meeting with you and [t]he Russian gove
rnmentattorneywho is flying over from Moscow." ss
Trump Jr, replied that Manafort (identified as the "campaign boss"), Jared Kushner, and Trump
Jr. would likely attend.ss' Goldstone was su rised to learn that Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner
would attend s+ Kaveladze
'

"puzzled" by the list of attendees and that he


checked with one of Emin Aga arov's assistants, Roman Beniaminov, who said that the purpose
of the meeting was for Veselnitskaya to convey "negative information on Hillary Clinton."s+
Beniaminov, however, stated that he did not recall having known or said that. s

Early on June &, 2016 Kushner emailed his assistant, asking her to discuss a 3:00 p.m.

"' DJTJR00445 6/6/1 6 Emai Goldstone snd Trump Jr.); RG000065-67 (6/6/16 Email, Goldstone
and Trump Jr.);
w' DJTJR00499 Call Records of Donald Trump Jr. ' ); Call Records
of Donald Trump Jr.
an Kaveladze 11/16/17 302, at 6;

Kaveladze 11/16/17 302 at 1-2; Beniaminov 1f6/18


302, at 2-3;
' s Kaveladze 11/16/1 7 302„at 6.
'~ DJTJR00467 (6/7f16 Email, Goldstone to Tram Jr . Don aldJTrum Jr 07/11/17 11:00)
Tweet; RG000068 (6/7/16 Email, Goldstone to Trump Jr,);
s DJTJRQ0469 (6/7/16 Email, Trump Jn to Goldstone); @DonaldJTrumpJr 07/11/17 (11'.00)
Tweet; RG000071 6/7/16 Email, Trum Jr. to Goldstone); OSC-KAV 00048 (6/7/16 Email, Goldstone to
Kaveladze);
6~ Goldstone 2/8/1 8 302, at 7;
see Kaveladze 11/16/17 302 at 7; O SC-
KAV 00048 (6/7/16 Email, Go dstone to Kaveladze).
w Beniaminov 1/6/18 302, at 3.

114
U,S. Department of Justice
//

meeting the following day with Trump Jr,sss Later that day, Trump Jr. forwarded the entirety of
his email correspondence regarding the meeting with Goldstone to Manafort and Kushner, under
thesubject line "F%: Russia - Clinton —private and confidential„" adding a note that the "[m]ecting
*' c
got moved to 4 tomorrow at my offices. Kushner then sent his assistant a second email,
informing her that the [m]ecting udth don jr is 4pm now." ' M anafort responded„"See you
then. P .7m

Rick Gates, who vras the deputy campaign chairman, stated during interviews with the
Office that in the days before June 9, 2016 Trump Jr. announced at a regular morning meeting of
senior campaign staff and Trump family members that he had a lead on negative information about
the Clinton Foundation. ' Gates believed that Trump Jr. said the information was coming from a
group in Kyrgyzstan and that he was introduced to the group hy a friend.~ G ates recalled that
the meeting was attended by Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Paul Manafort, Hope Hicks, and, joining late,
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. According to Gates, Manafort warned the group that the
meeting likely would not yield vital htformation and they should be carefuhz s Hicks denied any
knowledge of the June 9 meeting before 2017,7 and Kushner did not recall if the planned June 9
meeting came up at all earlier that week.7w

Michael Cohen recalled being in Donald J, Trump's office on June 6 or 7 when Trump Jr.
told his father that a meeting to obtain adverse information about Clinton vvas going forwai'd.
Cohen did not recall Trump Jr. stating that the meeting was connected to Russia.ice From the tenor
of the conversation, Cohen believed that Trump Jr. had previously discussed the meeting with his
father, although Cohen was not involved in any such conversation.t In a n interview with the
Senate Judiciary Committee, however, Trump Jr. stated that he did not inform his father about the

s" NOSC0000007-08 (6/8/I 8 Email, Kushner to Vargas).


"' NOSC00000039-42 (6/8/16 Email, Trump Jr. to Kushner tk Manafort); DJTJR00485 (6/8/16
Email„Trump Jr. to Kushner 8s Manafoit).
~' NOSC0000004 (6/8/16 Email, Kusbner to Vargas).
" 6 /8/16 Email, Manafort to Trump Jr.
' Gates I/30/18 302, at 7 Gates 3/1/18 302, at 3-4. Although the March 1 302 refers to "June
19," that is likely a typographical error; external emails indicate that a meeting with those participants
occurred on June 6. See NOSC00023603 (6/6/16 Email, Gates to Trump Jr. et al.).
zn Gates 1/30/18 3F2, at 7. Aras Agalarov is originally from Azerbaijan, and public reporting
iiidicates that his company, the Crocus Group, has done substantial work in Kyrgyzstan. See Neil
MacFsrquhm, 2 /toss/on Developer Helps Ont the Krendtn on Occasion. 5'os He u Conduit to Trump7,
New York Times (July 16, 2017).
' ' Gates 3/1/18 302, at 3-4,
n' Hicks 12/7/17 302, at 6.
' Kushner 4/11/1.8 302, at 8.
za Cohen 8/7/18 302, at 4-6.

Cohen 8/7/18 302, at 4-5.


u Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 15-16.

115
U.S. Department of Justice
//

emails or the upcoming meeting, " Similarly, neither Manafort nor Kushner recalled anyone
informing candidate Trump of the meeting, including Trump Jr. ' President Trump has stated to
this OAice, in written answers to questions, that he has "no recollection of learning at the time"
that his son, Manafort, or "Kushner was considering participating in a meeting in June 2016
conce
rningpo tentially negative information about Hillary Clinto'n," '

Jx The Events of Jttne 9, 2Ã6

Veselnitskaya was in New York on June 9, 2016, fm appellate proceedings in the Prevemn
civil forfeiture liti ation. 54 That da, Veselnitskaya called Rinat Akhmetshin, a Soviet-born U.S.
lobbyist, and when she learned that he was in New York, invited him
to lunch. metshin told the 0 fice that he had worked on issues relating to the Magnitsky
Act and had worked on the Prevason litigation, is K a veladze and Anatoli Samochorno, a

"I nterview of: Donald J. Tnaep, Jr., Senate Judidiary Committee, 115th Cong. 28-29, 84, 94-95
(Sept. 7, 2017). The Senate Judiciary Committee interview was not under oath„but Trump Jr. was advised
that it is a violation of 18 U SC. 3 1001 to make materially false statements in a congressional investigation,
Jd. at 10-11,
ns Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 3-4; Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 10,
"' Written Responses of Donald J. Trenp (Nov. 20, 2018), at 8 (Response to Question I, Parts (a)-
(c)). We considered whether one sequence of events suggested that candidate Trump had contemporaneous
knowledge of the June 9 meeting. On June 7, 2016 Trump announced his mtention to give "a major speech"
"probablyMonday of next week" — which would have been June 13— about "all ofthe things that have
taken place with the Clintonsy See,e.g., phillip Bump, 8%at we know about the Trump Tower meeting,
Washington Post (Aug. 7, 2018). Following the June 9 meeting, Trump changed the subject of his planned
speech to national security. But the Office did not find evidence that the original i'dea for the speech was
connected to the anticipated June 9 meeting or that the change of topic was attributable to the failure of that
meeting to produce concrete evidence about Clinton. Other events, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting
on June 12, could well have caused the change. The President's written answers to our questions state that
the speech's focus was altered "[i]n light of' the Pulse nightclub shooting. See Written Responses,supra.
As for the original topic of the June 13 speech, Trump has said that "he expected to give a speech referencing
the publicly available, negative information about the Clintons," and that the draft of the speech prepared
by Campaign staff "was based on publicly available material, including, in particular, information trom the
book Clinton Cash by peter Schweizery Written Responses,supra. In a later June 22 speech, Trump did
speak extensively about allegations that Clinton was corrupt, drawing I'rom the Clinton Cash book, See
Fu11 Transcri'pt; Donald Trump IttyC Speech on Stp/res of the Elec//on, politico,corn (June 22, 2016).
m Testimony of Natalia Veselnitskaya Before the Senate Cominittee on Judiciary (Nov. 20, 2017l
at 41, 42; Alison Frankel, How Did Russian Lawyer Yeso/nits/raya Get into U,S. for Trump Tower jdrsting 7
Reuters, (Nov. 6, 2017); Michael Kranish et al., Russian Lawyer who Jdet with Trump Jr. Has Long History
Fighting Sanctions, Washington Post (July 11, 2017); see OSC-KAV00113 (6/8/16 Email, Goldstone to
Kaveladze); RG000073 (6/8/16 Email, Goldstone to Trump Jr.); Lieberman 12/13/17 302, at 5; seealso
Preveson Holdings Order (Oct. 17, 2016);
515

"' Akhmetshin 11/14/17 302, at 4-6,'

116
U.S. Department of Justice
//

Russian-born translator who had assisted Veselnitska a with Ma nitsky-related lobbying and the
Preveson ease, also attended the lunch. '" Veselnitska a said she was
meeting and
asked Akhmetshin w at s e should te 1 un . A cc or ing to several participants m the lunch,
Veselnitskaya showed Akhmetshin a document alleging financial misconduct by Bill Browder and
the Ziff brothers (Americans with business m Russia, and those individuals subse uentl makin
olitical donations to the DNC.7is

The group then went to Trump Tower for the meeting.7 '

ii. Conduct of the Meeting

Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner participated on the Trump side, while Kaveladze,
Samochomov, Akhmetshin, and Goldstone attended with Veselnitskaya. ' The Office spoke to.
every participant except Veselnitska a and Trum Jr„ the latter of whom declined to 4'e voluntaril
interviewed b the Office

Themeetin lasted a mximatel 20 minutes.7~

Gol stone recalled that Trump Jr, invited Veselmtskaya to egm but did not
say an i n g about the subject uf the meeting.726 participants agreed that Veselnitskaya stated that
the Ziff brothers had broken Russian laws and had donated their profits to the DNC or the Clinton
Campaign."26 She asserted that the Ziff brothers had engaged in tax evasion and money laundering

" Kaveladze 11/16/17 302 at 7; Samochomov 7/13/17


302„at 2, 4„
'lu

Kaveladze 11/16/I 7 302,, at 7;


Samochomov did not reca the tenne
subject matter of e Tnuup Tower meeting commg up at unch.
g Samochomov 7/12/17 302, at 4. I n her later Senate statement and mteractions wit t e p ress,
Veselnitskaya produced what she claimed were the talking points that she brought to the June 9 meeting.
'726,

' Eg., Samochoinov 7/12/17 302, at 4.


722E.g., Samochornov 7/12/17 302, at 4.

E.g., Samochomov 7/12/17 302, at 4,' Goldstcee 2/8/18 302, at 9.


724

725

726

117
U.S. Department of Justice

in both the United States and Russia,


zu According to etslun, Trump Jr. as e f o low-up
questions about how e allege payments could be tied specifically to the Clinton Campaign, but
Veselnitskaya indicated that she could not ttace the m'oney once it entered the United States. rs
Kaveladze similarly recalled that Trump Jr. asked what they have on Clinton, and Kushner became
aggravated and asked "[w]hat are we doing here?"r'e

Akhmetshin then spoke about U.S, sanctions imposed under the Magnitsky Act and
Russia's response prohibiting U.S. adoption of Russian childrenon Several participants recalled
that Trump Jr. commented that Trump is a private citizen, and there was nothing they could do at
that time.v's Trump Jr. also said that they could revisit the issue if and when they were in
governm
ent, 7 s Notes that Manafort took on his phone reflect the general flow of the conversation,
although not all of its details.7'4

At some point in the meeting, Kushner sent an iMessage to Manafort stathrg "waste of time,"
followed immediately by two separate emails to assistants at Kushner Companies with requests that

729 .
Akhmetshin 11/14/17 302, at 12.
~0 Kaveladze 11/16/17 302, at 8; • v

s' Ssmochomov 7/13/17 302, at 3;

t t Rg,, Akhmetshin 11/14/17 302, at 12-13;


"' Akhmetshin 11/14/17 302, at 12-13; Samochomov
7/13/17 302, at 3. Tnunp Jr. confirmed this in a statement he made in July 2 17 atter news of the June
2016 meeting broke. In t erview o f: Daoatd J. Trump, In, SenateSmficiary Cottotttttee US. Senate
tYastttttgtoo DC, 115th Cong. 57 (Sept. 7, 2017).
t4 Manafort's notes state:

Bill browder
Offshore - Cyprus
133m shares
Companies
Not invest - loan
Value i'n Cyprus as inter
lllici
Active sponsors of RNC
Browder hired Joanna Glover
Tied into Cheney
Russian adoption by American families

P JM-SJC-00000001-02 (Notes Produced to Senate Judiciary Committee).

118
U.S. Department of Justice

they call him to give him an excuse to leave,vss Samochornov recalled that Kushner departed the
meetmg before it concluded; Veselnitskaya reoalled the same when interviewed by 'the press in
July 2017,7"

Ueselnitskaya's press interviews and written statements to Congress differ materially from
other accounts. In a July 2017 press interview, Veselnitskaya claimed that she has no connection
to the Russian government and had not referred to any derogatory information concerning the
Clinton Campaign when she met with Trump Campaign officials.v V eselnitskaya's November
2017 written submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee stated that the purpose of the June 9
meeting was not to connect with "the Trump Campaign" but t'ather to have "a private meehng with
Donald Trump Jr.— a friend of my good acquaintance's son on the matter of assisting me or my
colleagues in informing the Congress members as to the criminal nature of manipulation and
interference with the legislative activities of the US Congress." s In other words„Veselnitskaya
claimed her focus was on Congress and not the Campaign. No witness, however„recalled any
reference to Congress during the meeting, Veselnitskaya also maintained that she "aMended the
meeting as a lawyer of Denis Katsyv," the previously mentioned owner of Prevezon Holdings, hut
she did not "introduce [her]self in this capacity," '

In a July 2017 television interview, Trump Jr. stated that while he had no way to gauge the
reliability, credibility, or accuracy of what Goldstone had stated was the purpose of the meeting,
if "someone has information on our opponent.. . maybe this is something. I should hear them
out."""o Trump Jr. further stated in September 2017 congressional testitnony that he thought he
should "listen to what Rob and his colleagues had to say."tet D epending on what, if any,
information was provided, Trump Jr. stated he could then "consult with counsel to make an
informed decision as to whether to give it any further consideration."

NOSC00003992 (6/9/16 Text Message, Kushner to Manafort); Kushner 4ll I/18 302, at 9;
Vargss 4l4/18 302, at 7; NOSC00000044 (6/9/16 Email, Kushner to Verges); NOSC00000045 (6/9/16
Email, Kushner to Cain).
7" Samochotnov 7/12/17 302, at 4; Kushner 4/11/1 8
302, at 9-10', see also Interview of: Donald J, Trump, Jr., Senate Judicimy m mi t tee,115th Cong. 48-49
(Sept. 7, 2017),
Ittastan Lawyer Veselnitshaya Says She Didn't Give T ump Jr. Info on Clinton, NBC News
(July 11, 2017).
' Testimony of Natalia Veselnttshaya before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
115" Cong. 10 (Nov 20, 20171.
s Testimony ofNatalia Veselnitsttaya before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
I I Su Cong. 21 (Nov. 20, 2017).
nn Sean Hannity, Transcript-Donald Trump Jr, Fox News (July 11, 2017).
r ' Interview of: Donald J. Trump, Jr, Senate Judiciary Committee, 115th Cong. 16 (Sept. 7, 2017).
r s Interview of: Donald J. Trump, Jr, Senate Judiciary Committee, 115th Cong. 16-17. (Sept. 7,
2017).

119
U,S, Department of Justice

Afterthe June 9meetin concluded Goldstonea olo izedto Trum Jr.747 Accordingto
Goldstone, he told Trump Jr. arid
told Emin A a larov i n a ho n e call t hat th e meetin w a s about ado tion '
745

Aras Agalarov asked Kaveladze to


m port in e rthe meeting, but before Kave adze cou d cali, Aras Agalarov called him. Wit h
Veselnitskaya next to him, Kaveladze reported that the meeting had gone well, but he later told
Aras Agalarov that the meeting about the Magnitsky Act had been a waste of time because it was
not with lawyers and they were "preaching to the wrong crowd."

c. Past- June 9 Events

Veselnitskaya and Aras Agalarav made at least two unsuccessful attempts after the election
to meet with Trump representatives to convey similar information about Browder and the
Magnitsky Act.7~ On November 23, 2016, Kaveladze emailed Goldstone about setting up another
meeting "with T people" and sent a document bearing allegations similar to those conveyed an
June 9. ' K a veladze followed up with GoldMne, stating that "Mr. A," which Goldstone
understood to mean Aras Agalarav, called to ask about the meeting, " G oldstone emailed the
document to Rhona Graff, saying that "Aras Agalarov has asked me to pass on this document in
the hope it can be passed on to the appropriate team. If needed, a lawyer representing the case is

'4' Kavaladze 11/I 6/17 302 at 8. Goldstone 2/8/I 8 302,

744

T he week atter the June 9 meeting, a cybersecuri f i r m


and the DNC announced the Russian hack af the DNC, See Volume I, Section III.B,2 su r44.

and one text message s ows) t at, short y after the DN


announcement Galdstone made comments connecting the DNC hacking announcement ta the June 9
meeting. OSC-KAV 00029 (6/14/16 Email, Goldstone to E.
Agalarov K aveladze (10:09 a.m,) . The invest1gauon did not identify evidence connecting the events of
June 9 to the GRU's hack-and-dump operation, OSC-KAV 00029-30 (6/14/16 Email, Goldstone to E.
Agalarov).
746

747 Kaveladze 11/16/I 7 302„at 8; Call Records of Ike Kaveladze


'4' Ka eladze 11/16/17 302, at 8; Call Records of Ike Ka eladze
On June 14, 2016 Kaveladze's teenage daughter emailed asking how the Jmte 9 meeting ha gone, and
Kaveladze responded, "meeting was boring. The Russians did not have an bad info on Hil .'* OSC-
KAV 00257 (6/14/16 Email, I. Kaveladze to A. Kaveladze;
74' Goldstone 2/8/1 8 302, at 11„'
74' OSC-KAV 00138 11/23/16 Email Goldstone to Kaveladze); •

' RG000196 (l l / 26-29/16 Text Messages, Goldstone 4'4 Kaveladze);

120
U.S. Deparhnent of Justice
//

in New York currently and happy to me'et with any member of his transition team."" According
to Goldstone, around January 2017, Kaveladze contacted him again to set up another meeting, but
Goldstone did not make the request. T h e investigation did not identify evidence of the transition
team following up,

Participants in the June 9, 2016 meeting began receiving inquiries from attorneys
representing the Trump Organization starting in approximately June 2017. 3 On approximately
June 2, 2017, Goldstone spoke with Alan Garten, general counsel of the Trump Organization,
about his participation in the June 9 meeting, T h e same day, Goldstone emailed Veselnitskaya's
name to Guten, idendfying her as the "woman who was the attorney who spoke at the meeting
fmm Moscow."7rs Later in June 2017, Goldstone participated in a lengthier call with Garten and
Alan Futerfas, outside counsel for the Trump Organization (and, subsequently, personal counsel
for Trump Jr.).7'7 On June 27, 2017, Goldstone emailed Emin Agalarov with the subject "Trump
attorneys" and stated that he was "interviewed by attorneys" about the June 9 meeting who were
'"concerned because it links Don Jr. to officials from Russia — which he has always denied
meeting,"733 Goldstone stressed that he "did say at the time this was an awful idea and a terrible
meeting." Em i n Agalarov sent a screenshot of the message to Kaveladze,

The June 9 meeting became public in July 2017. In a July 9, 2017 text me'ssage to Ernin
Agalarov, Goldstone wrote "I made sure I kept you and your father out of [t]his story," ' and "[i] f
contacted I can do a dance and keep you out of It,"7'7 Goldstone added, '%BI now investigating,"
and "I hope this favor was worth for your dad — it could blow up." On J uly 12, 2017 Emin
Agalarov complained to Kaveladze that his father, Aras, "never listens" to him and that theh'

733 Goldstone 2/8/1 8 302, at 11; DJTJR00118 (11/28/16


Email, Goldstone to Graff).
753

733 RG000256 (6/2/17 Email, Goldstone to Garten),


757

7" RG000092 (6/27/17 Email, Goldstone to E, Agalarov).


733 RG000092 6/27/17 Email Goldstone to E, A alamv .

' OSC-KAV 01190 (6/27/1 7 Text Message, E. Agalsrov to Kaveladze).


"' RG000286-87 (7/9/17 Text Messages, E. Agalsrov k Goldstone);

121
U,S, Department of Justice
//

relationship with "mr T has been throw'n down the drain."766 The next month, Goldstone
commented to Emin Agalarov about the volume of publicity the June 9 meeting had generated,
stating that his "reputation [was] basically destroyed by this dumb meeting which your father
insisted on even though Ike, and Me told him would be had news and not to de."7 6 Goldstone
added, "I am not able to respond out of courtesy to you and. your father. So am painted as some
mysterious link to Putin."766

After public reporting on the June 9 meeting began, representatives fr'om the Trump
Organization again reached out to participants. On July 10, 2017, Futerfas sent Goldstone an email
with a proposed statement for Goldstone to issue, which read:

As the person who arranged the meeting, I can definitively state that the statements I have
read by Donald Trump Jr. are 100/6 accurate. The meeting was a complete waste of time
and Don was never told Ms. Veselnitskaya's name prior to the meeting. Ms. Veselnitskaya
mostly talked about the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoption laws and the meeting lasted
20 to 30 minutes at most. There was never any follow up and nothing ever came of the
meetmg,

the statement drafted by Trump Organization representatives was


g 66 He proposed a different statement, asserting that he had been
aske " y [ is] client in Moscow — Emin Agalarov — to facilitate a meeting between a Russian
attorney (Natalia Veselnitzkaya [sic]) and Donald Trump Jr. The lawyer had apparently stated
that she had some information regarding fundmg to theDNC from Russia, which she believed Mr.
Trump Jr. might find interesting,'nss Goldstone never released either statement,7+

On the Russian end, there were also communications about what participants should say
about the June 9 meeting, Specifically, the organization that hired Samochornov — an anti-
Magnitsky Act group controlled by Veselnitskaya and the owner of Prevezon —offered to pay
$90,000 af Samochornov*s legal fees.77' A t V eselnitskaya's request, the organization sent
Samochornov a transcript of a Veselnitskaya press interview, and Samochornov understood that
the organization would pay his legal fees only i f 'he made statements consistent with
Veselnitskaya's."+ Samochomov declined, telling the Office that he did not want to perjure

ttgC.KAU 0 1777(7717.77/777 * 1M g ,K t g A E Ag 1 );~

766

76 7/10/17 Email, Goldstone to Futerfas Ec 'Garten.

7/10/17 Einai, Goldstone to Futerfas 4, Garten.


7'76

' Sahnochomov 7/13/17 302, at 1,


Samochornov 7/13/1 7 302, at 1,
U.S. Department of Justice
//

himself.~s The individual who conveyed Veselnitskaya's request to Samochornov stated that he
did not expressly condition payment on following Veselnitskaya's answers but, in hindsight,
recognized that by sending the transcript, Samochornov could have interpreted the offer of
assistance to be conditioned on his not contradicting Veselnitskaya's account.~4

Volume II, Section II.G, inPa, discusses interactions between President Trump, Trump Jr„
and others in June and July 2017 regarding tlie June 9 meeting.

6. Events at the Re ublicsn N tional Conventi n

Trump Campaign officials met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the week
of the Republican National Convention. The evidence indicates that those interactions were brief
and non-substantive. During platform committee meetings immediately before the Convention,
J.D. Gordon, a senior Campaign advisor on policy and national security, diluted a proposed
amendment to the Republican Party platform expressing support for providing "lethal"' assistance
to Ukraine in response to Russian aggression. Gordon requested that platform committee
personnel revise the proposed amendment to state that only "appropriate" assistance be provided
to Ukraine. The original sponsor of the "lethal" assistance amendment stated that Gordon told her
(the sponsor) that he was on the, phone with candidate Trump in connection with his request to
dilute the language. G ordon denied making that statement to the sponsor, although he
acknowledged it was possible he mentioned having previously spoken to the candidate about the
subject matter. The investigation did not establish that Gordon spoke to ot was directed by the
candidate to make that proposal. Gordon said that he sought the change because he believed the
proposed language was inconsistent with Trump's position on Uluaine.

a AntbassadorL islyak's Encoanters withSenator Sessions and LB. Gordon the


Itreek of the RIYC

In July 2016, Senator Sessions and Gordon spoke at the Global Partners in Diplomacy
event, a conference co-sponsored by the State Department and the Heritage Foundation held in
C leveland, Ohio t h e same week a s t h e R epublican National Convention (RNC o r
"Convention" ).~ Approximately 80 foreign ambassadors to the United States, including Kislyak,
were invited to the conference,

On July 20, 2016, Gordon and Sessions delivered their speeches at the conference. In
his speech, Gordon stated in pertinent part that the United States should have better relations with

' ' Ssmochomov 7/13/I 7 302, at 1.


zw

rn Gordon 8/29/I 7 302, at 9; Sessions I/17/18 302, at 22; Allan Smith, W'e Itow Snow More About
why JegSesstons and a Russian Antbassador Crossed Paths at the Republican Convention, Business Insider
(Mar. 2, 2017),
' Gordon 8/29/I 7 302, at 9; Laura DeMsrco, Global Cleveland and Sen. /Job Corker Jtretcotne
International Republican Ãati on a/ Convention Guests,Cleveland Plain Dealer (July 20, 2016).
Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 9; Sessions I/17/18 302, at 22.
U.S. Department of Justice

Russia. ' During Sessions's speech, he took questions from the audience, one of which may have
been asked by Kislyak.+8 When the speeches concluded, several ambassadors lined up to greet
the speakers. s Gordon shook hands with Kislyak and reiterated that he had meant what he said
in the speech about improving U,S.-Russia relations. s Sessions separately spoke with between
six and 12 ambassadors, including Kislyak.sss Although Sessions stated during interviews with
the Office that he had no specific recollection of what he discussed with Kislyak, he believed that
the two spoke for only a few minutes and that they would have exchanged pleasantries and said
same things about U.S.-Russia relations. "

Later that evcniiq;, Gordon attended a reception as part of the conference.s'4 Gordon ran
into Kislyak as the two prepared plates of food, and they decided to sit at the same table to eat.sss
They werc joined at that table by the ambassadors Irom Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and by Trump
Campaign advisor Carter Page.sse As they ate, Gordon and Kislyak talked for what Gordon
estimated to have been three to five minutes, during which Gordon again mentioned that he meant
what he said in his speech about improving U,S.-Russia relations.7'r

b. Chottgeto Eeptsblicart Party Platform

In preparation for the 2016 Convention, foreign policy advisors to the Trump Campaign,
working with the Republican National Cammittec„reviewed the 2012 Convention's foreign policy
platform to identify divergence between the earlier platform and candidate Trump's positions.s s
The Campaign team discussed toning down language from the 2012 platform that identified Russia
as the country's number one threat, given the candidate's belief that there needed to be better U.S.
relations with Russia.sss The RNC Platform Committee sent the 2016 draft platform to the
National Security and Defense Platform Subcommittee on July 10, 2016, the evening before its

'" Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 9.


u Sessions 1/17/18 302, at22; Luff l/30/18 302, at3.
xe Gordon Sl29/I 7 302, at 9; Luff 1/30/18 3D2, at 3.
Garden 8/29/17 302, at 9,
sss Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 22; Luff I/30/1 8 302, at 3; see also Volume I, Section IV.A.4,b, supra
(explaining that Sessions and Kislyak may have met three months before this encounter during a reception
held on April 26, 2016, at the Mayflow'er Hotel),
" Sessians 1/17/18 302, at 22.
ss4 Garden 8/29/17 302, at 9-10,
"' Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 9-10,
' Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10; see also Volume I, Section IV.A.3.d, supra ( explainingthat Page
acknowledged meeting Kislysk at this event).
sw Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10,
s' Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10,
s s Gordon 8/29/17 3D2, at 10.
U.S. Department of Justice

first meeting to propose amendments.,

Although only delegates could participate in formal discussions and vote on the platform,
the Trump Canipaign could request changes, and members of the Trump Campaign attended
committee meetings. s' John Mashburn, the Campaign's policy director, helped oversee the
Campaign's involvement in the platform committee meetings, He t old the Office that he
directed Campaign staff at the Convention, including J.D. Gordon, to take a hands-off approach
and only to challenge platform planks if they directly contradicted Trump's wishes.im

On July 11, 2016, delegate IJiana Denman submitted a proposed platform amendment that
included provision of armed support for Ukraine. s4 The amendment described Russia's "ongoing
military aggression" in Ukraine and announced "support" for "maintaining (and, if warranted,
increasing} sanctions against Russia until Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully
restored" and for "providing lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine's armed forces and greater
coordination with NATO on defense planning,"7ss Gordon reviewed the proposed platform
changes, including Denman's. s G ordon stated that he flagged this amendment because of
Trump's stated position on Ukraine, which Gordon personally heard the candidate say at the March
31 foreign policy meeting — namely, that the Europeans should take primary responsibility for any
assistance to Ukrame, that there should be improved U.S.-Russia relations, and that he did not
want to start World War III over that region. ' G ordon told the OQice that Trump's statements
on the campaign trail following the March meeting underscored those positions to the point where
Gordon felt obliged to object te the pmposed platform change and seek its dilution,

On July 11, 2016, at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Platform
Subcommittee, IJenman offered her amendment. Go r don and another' Campaign smffer, Matt
Miller, approached a committee co-chair and asked him to table the amendment to permit further
discussion,' ' G ordon's concern with the amendment was the language about providing "lethal

~ Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10; Hoff 5/26/17 302, at 1-2,


' Hoff 5/26/17 302, at 1; Gordon 9/7/17 302, at 10,
Mashbum 6/25/18 302, at 4; Manafort 9/20/18 302, at 7-8.
ee Mashburn 6/25/1$302, at 4; Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10.

D~ 0000 0 1-02, DENMAN 00001'2, DENMAN 000021-22; Denman 12/4/17 302, at 1;


Denman 6/7/17 302, at 2.
~' DENMAN 000001-02, DENMAN 000012, DENMAN 000021-22.

Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 10-11.


"r Gordon 8/29/17 302, at 11;, Gordon 9/7/1 7 302, at 11; Gordon 2/14/1 9 302, at 1-2, 5-6.
'" Gordon 2/14/19 302, at 5-6.
' Denman 6/7/1 7 302„at 2; see DENMAN 000014,
"' Denman 6/7/17 302, at 2; Denman 12/4/17 302, at 2; Gordon 9I7/17 302, at 11-12; see Hoff
5/26/17 302, at 2.

125
U.S. Department of Justice
I/

defensive weapons to Ukraine.*' ' M i l ler did not have any independent basis to believe that this
*
language contradicted Trump's views and relied on Gordon s recollection of the candidate's
views.'+

According to Denman, she spoke with Gordon and Matt Miller, and they told her that they
had to clear the language and that Gordon was "talking to New York,"'s i Denman told others that
she was asked by the two Trump Campaign staffers to strike "lethal defense weapons" from the
proposal but that she refused.sc Denman recalled Gordon saying that hewas on the phone with
candidate Tmmp, but she was skeptical whether that was true. Go r don denied having told
Denman that he was on the phone with Truinp, although he acknowledged it was possible that he
mentioned having previously spoken to the candidate about the subjectmatter ~ Gordon's phone
records reveal a eall to Sessions's office in Washington that afternoon, but do not include calls
directly to a number associated with Trump."" And according to the President's written answers
to the Office's questions, he does not recall being involved in the change in language of the
platform amendment.ses

Gordon stated that he tried to reach Rick Dearborn, a senior foreign policy advisor, and
Mashburn, the Campaign policy director, Gordon stated that he connected with both of them (he
could not recall if by phone or in person) and apprised them of the language he took issue with in
the proposed amendment. Gordon recalled no objection by either Dearborn or Mashburn and that
all three Campaign advisors supported the alternative formulation ("appmpriate assistance" ).sos
13earbom recalled Gordon warningth
em about the amendment, but not weighing in because
Gordon was more familiar with the Campaign's foreign policy stance," M a shburn stated that
Gordon reached hhn, and he told Gordon that Trump had not taken a stance on the issue and that
the Campaign should not intervene. "

When the amendment came up again in the committee's proceedings, the subcommittee
changed the amendment by striking the "lethal defense weapons" language and replacing it with

e ' Denman 6/7/17 302, at 3.


M. Miller 10/26/17 302 at 3.
'" Denman 12/4/1 7 302, at 2; Denman 6/7/17 302, at 2.
ee4 Hoff 5/26/17 302, at 2.

' Denman 6/7I17 302, at 2-3, 3-4; Denman 12/4/17 302, at 2.


"' Gordon 2/14/1 9 302, at 7.
i Call Records of J.D. Gordon . Gordon stated to the Office that
his calls with Sessions were unrelated to the p atform c ange. Gordon 2/14/19 302, at 7.
w' Written Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018), at 17 (Response to Question IV,
Part (1)).
' e Gordon 2II 4/19 302, at 6-7; Gordon 9I7/17 302, at 11-12; see Gordon 8/29/1 7 302, at 11,
'" Dearborn 11/28/17 '302„at 7-8.
in Mashburn 6/25/1 8 302, at 4.
U.S. Department of Justice

"appropriate assistance." ' Go r don stated that he and the subcommittee co-chair ultimately
a greed to replace the language about armed assistance with "appropriate assistance.""' T h e
subcommittee accordingly approved Denman*s amendinent but with the term "appropriate
assistanceys'~ Gordon stated that, to his recollection, this was the only change sought by the
Campaign.s's Sam Clovis, the Campaign*s national co-chair and chief policy advisor, stated he
was surprised by the change and did not believe it was in line with Trump's stance."s Mashburn
stated that when he saw the word "appropriate assistance," he believed that Gordon had violated
Mashbum's directive not to intervene. '

7. Post-Convention Contacts with Kisl ak

Ambassador Kislyak continued his efforts to interact with Campaign officials with
responsibility for the foreign-policy portfolio — among them Sessions and Gordon — in the weeks
after the Convention. The Office did not identify evidence in those interactions of coordination
between the Campaign and the Russian government.

a AmbassadorKislyak Invites L IJ.G ordon ro R reakfasrat tke A mbassador's


Residence
On August 3, 2016, an oNcial from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United
States wrote to Gordon "[o]n behalf oP A mbassador Kislyak inviting Gordon "to have
breakfast/tea with the Ambassador at his residence" in Washingmn, D.C, the following week.s
Gordon responded five days later to decline the invitation. He wrote, "[t]hese days are not optimal
for us, as we are busily knocking down a constant stream of false media stories while also preparing
for the first debate with HRC; Hope to take a raincheck for another titne when things quiet down
a bit, Please pass along my r'egards to the Ambassador,"ais The investigation did not identify
evidence that Gordon made any other arrangements to meet (or met) with Kislyak after this emaiL

b. Senator Sessions'sSeptember 2Q16 bfeedng ndlb Ambassador Kisiyak

Also in August 2016, a representative of the Russian Embassy contacted Sessions's Senate
office about setting up a meeting with Kislyak.srs At the time, Sessions was a member of the

u Ho ff 5/26/1 7 302, at 2-3; see Denman 12/4/1 7 302, at 2-3; Gordon 8/29/1 7 302, at 11,
"' Gordon 8/29/1 7 302, at 11; Gordon 9/7/17 302, at 12,
su Hoff 5/26/i 7 302 at 2-3
"-~ Gordon 2/14/1 9 302, at 6.
"s Clovis 10/3/17 302, at 10-11.
sn Mashburn 6/25/18 302) at 4.
"' DJTFP00004828 (8/3/1 6 Email, Pchelyakov [einbassy@russianembassy.org] to Gordon).
" DJTFP00004953 (8/8/16 Email, Gordon to einbassy@russianembassy.org),
n' Luff 1/30/18 302, at 5.

127
U,S, Department of Justice
//

Senate Foreign Relations Committee and would meet with foreign oIIIclals in that capacity.ss' But
Sessions's staff reported, and Sessions himself acknowledged, that meeting requests from
ambassadors increased substantially in 2016, as Sessions assumed a prominent role in the Trump
Campaign and his name was mentioned for potential cabinet-level positions in a f uture
Trump Administration.s~~

On September 8, 2016, Sessions met with Kislyak in his Senate office.s ' Sessions said
that he believed he was doing the Campaign a service by meeting with foreqpt ambassadors,
including Kislyak.s~ He was accompanied in the meeting by at least two of his Senate staff:
Sandra Luff, his legislative director; and Pete Landrum, who handled military affairs.' s The
meeting lasted less than 30 minutes, S essions voiced concerns about Russia's sale of a missile-
defense system to Iran, Russian planes buzzing U,S. military assets in the Middle East, and Russian
aggression in emerging democracies such as Ukraine and Moldova.~" K i s lyak offered
explanations on these issues and complained about NATO land forces in former Soviet-bloc
countries that border Russia.sts Landrum recalled that Kislyak referred to the presidential
campaign as "an interesting campaign,''sss and Sessions also recalled Kislyak saying that the
Russian government was receptive to the overtures Trump had laid out during his campaign.
None of the attendees, though, remembered any discussion of Russian election interference or any
request that Sessions convey information from the Russian governm ent tothe Trump Campaign.ss'
During the meeting, Kislyak invited Sessions to further discuss U. S,-Russia relations with
him over' a meal at the ambassador's residence. ss Sessions was non-committal when Kislyak
extended the invitation. After the meeting ended, Luff advised Sessions against accepti'ng the one-
an-one meeting with Kislyak, whom she assessed to be an "old school KGB guy/ s' Neither Luff
nor Landrum recalled that Sessions followed up on the invitation or made any further effort to dine

' Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23-24; Luff I/30/18 302, at 5.


~ Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23-24; Luff I/30/18 302, at 5; Landnun 2/27/18 302, at 3-5.
u' Sessions I/17/18 302, st 23.
"' Sessions I/17/I 8 302, at 23,
' Sessions I/I 7/18 302, at 23; Luff I/30/I 8 302, at 5-6; Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 4-5 (stating he
could not remember if election was discussed).
us Luff I/30/18 302, at 6; Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 5.
"r Luff I/30/18 302, at 6; Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 4-5.
Luff' I /30/I 8 302, at 6; Landrum 2/27/18 302 at 4-5.
'~' Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 5

Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23. Sessions also noted that ambassadors came to him for information
about Tmmp snd hoped he would pass along information to Trump. Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23-24,
' Sessions I/17/I 8 302, at 23; Luff I/30/18 302, at 6; Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 5.
'" Luff I/30/I 8 302, at 5; Landrum 2/27/I 8 302, at 4.

Luff I/30/18 302, at 5.

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//

or meet with Kislyak before the November. 2016 election.ssx Sessions and Landrum recalled that,
after the election, some efforts were made to arrange a meeting between Sessions and Kislyak.'ss
According,to Sessions, the request came through CNI and would have involved a meeting between
Sessions and Kislyak, two other ambassadors, and the Governor of Alabama. ' S e ssions,
however, was in New York on the day of'the anticipated meeting and was unable to attend. 7 The
investigation did not identify evidence that the two men met at any point after their September 8
meeting.

8. Paul Manafoit

Paul Manafort served on the Trump Campaign„ including a period as campaign chairman„
from March to August 2016. s' M anafort had connections to Russia through his prior work for
Russian oligarch Oleg 13eripaska and later through his work for a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine.
Manafort stayed in touch with these contacts during the campaign period through Konstantin
Kilimnik, a Io~ i me Manafoit employee who previously ran Manafort's office in Kiev and who
the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence.

Manafart instructed Rick Gates, his deputy on the Campaign and a longtime employee,s s
to provide Kilimnik w'ith updates on the Trump Campaign — including internal polling data,
although Manafort claims not to recall that specific instruction. Manafort expected Kilimnik to
share that information with others in Ukraine and with Deripaska. Gates periodically sent such
polling data to Kilimnik during the campaign.

+4 Luff 1/30/18 302, at 6; Landrum 2/27/18 302, at 4-5.


"' Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23.
' Sessions I/I 7/18 302, at 23.
"" Sessions I/17/18 302, at 23.

On August 21, 2018, Manafort was convicted in the Eastern Distdct of Virginia an eight tax,
Foreign Bank Account Registration (FBAR), and bank fraud charges. On September 14, 2018, Manafort
pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia ta (I) conspiracy to defraud the United States and canspiracy to
commit offenses against the United States (money laundering, tax fraud, FBAR, Fareqpr Agents
Registration Act (FARA), and FARA false statements), and {2) conspiracy to obstruct justice (witness
tampering), Manafort also admitted criminal conduct with which he had been charged in the Eastern
District of Virginia, but as to which the jury hung. The conduct at issue in both cases involved Manafort's
work in Ukraine and the money he earned for that work, as well as crimes after the Ukraine work ended.
On March 7, 2019, Manafoit was sentenced to 47 months af imprisonincnt in the Virginia prosecution. On
March 13, the district court in D,C. sentenced Manafort to a total term of 73 months: 60 months on the
Count I conspiracy (with 30 af those months to run r ancurrent to the Virginia sentence), and 13 months on
the Count I conspiracy, to be served consecutive ta the other two sentences. The two sentences resulted m
a total term of 90 months.
" A s noted in Volume I, Section III.D.l.b, supra, Gates pleaded guilty to two ariminal charges in
the District of Columbia, including making s false statement ta the FBI, pursuant to a plea agreement, He
has provided information and in-court testimony that the Office has deemed to be reliable, See also
Transcript at 16, United Statesv. Poul Z /vlonafort, Jr,, I;17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 13, 2019), Doc. 514
('7ettotafort 2/13/19 Transcript" ) (court's explaiiatian of reasons to credit Gates's statements in one
in~ a c).

129
U,S. Depattment of Justice
//

Manafort also twice met Kilimnik in the United States during the campaign period and
conveyed campaign information. The second meeting took place on August 2, 2016, in New York
City. K i limnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a message from former Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovych, who was then living in Russia. The message was about a peace
plan for Ukraine that Manafort has since acknowledged was a "backdoor" means. for Russia to
control eastern Ukraine. Several months later, after the presidential election, Kilimnik wrote an
email to Manafort expressing the view — which Manafort later said he shared — that the plan's
success would requii'e U.S. support to succeed; "all that is required to start the process is a very
minor 'wink' (or slight push) fiom [Donald Trump] *+a The email also stated that if Manafort
were designated as the U.S. representative and started the process, Yanukovych would ensure his
reception in Russia "at the very top level."

Manafort communicated with Kilimnik about peace plans for Ukraine on at least fout
occasions after their first discussion of the topic on August 2; December 2016 (the Kilimnik email
described above); January 2017; February 2017; and again in the spring of 20lg. The Office
reviewed numemus Manafoit email and text communications, and asked President Trump about
th'e plan in written questions.'t' The investigation did not uiu:over evidence of Manafort's passing
along im formation about Ukt ainian peace plans to the candidate or anyone else in the Campaign or
the Administraffon. The Offfce was not, however, able to gain access to all of Manafort's
electronic communications (in some instances„messages were sent using encryption applications).
And while Manafort denied that he spoke to members of the Trump Campaign or the new
Administration about the peace plan, he lied to the Office and the grand jury about the peace plan
and his meetings with Kilimnik, and his unreliability on this subject was among the reasons that
the district judge found that he breached his cooperation agreement.sa

The Office could not reliably determine Manafort's ose m sharin internal oiling data
with Kilimnik during the campaign period. Manafort did not see
a downside to sharing campaign information, and tol Gates at his role in t C ampaign would

+s The email was draged in Kilinmik's DMP email account in En lish

au Accordmg to the President's written answers, he does not remember Manafort communicating
to him any particular positions that Ukraine or Russia would want the United States to support. Written
Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018),. at 16-17 (Response to Ouestion IV, Part (d)).
Manafort made several false statements duiing debriefings. Based on that conduct, the Offioe
determined that Manafort had breached his plea agreement and could not be a cooperating witness. The
judge presiding in Manafort's D.C. criminal case found by a preponderance of the evidence that Manafort
intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, the Office, and the grand jury concerning bis
interactions and communications with Kilimnik (and concerning two other issues). Although the report
refers at times to Manafort's statements, it does so only when those statements are sufficiently corroborated
to be trustworthy, to identify issues on which Manafort's untruthful responses may themselves be of
evidentiary value, or to provid'e Manafort's explanations for certain events, even when we werc unable to
determine whether that explanation was credible.

130
U.S. Department of Justice
//

be "good for business" and potentially a way to be made whole for work he previously completed
in the Ukraine, As to Deripaska, Manafort claimed that by sharing campaign information with
him, Deripaska might see value in their relationship and resolve a "disagreement" — a reference to
one or more outstanding lawsuits. Because of questions about Manafart *s credibility and our
limited ability to gather evidence on what happened to the palling data after it was sent ta Kilimnik,
the Office could not assess what Kilimnik (or others he may have given it to) did with it. The
Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort's sharing polling data and
Russia's interference in the election, which had already been reported by U.S. media outlets at the
time of the August 2 meeting. The investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise
coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.

anu
u. Puul M fort' s Tiesto aussie antiUkraine
Manafort's Russian contacts during the campaign and transition periods stem from his
consulting work far Deripaska from approximately 2005 to 2009 and his separate 'political
consulting work in Ukraine from 2005 to 2015, including through his company DMP International
LLC (DMI). K i limnik worked for Manafort in Kiev during this entire period and continued to
communicate with Manafort through at least June 2018. K i limnik, wha speaks and writes
Ukrainian and Russian, facilitated many of Manafart's communications with Deripaska and
Ukramian oligarchs.

i. Ol eg Deripasko Consulting II ork


In approximately 2005, Manafort began working for Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who
has a glabal empire involving aluminum and power companies and who is closely aligned with
Vladimir patio.~s A memorandum describing work that Manafort performed for Deripaska in
2005 regarding the post-Soviet republics referenced the need to brief the Kremlin and the benefits
that the work could confer on "the Putin Government." Ga tes described the work Manafort did
for Deripaska as "political risk insurance," and explained that Deripaska used Manafort to install
friendly political officials in countries where Dcripaska had business interests.sts Manafort's
company earned tens of millions of dollars fram its work for Deripaska and was loaned millions
of dollars by Deripaska as vvell s4s

In 2007, Deripaska invested through another entity in Pericles Emerging Market Partners
L.P. ("Pericles"), an investment fund created by Manafort and former Manafort business pattner
Richard Davis. The Pericles fund was established to pursue investments in Eastern Europe.s 7
Deripaska was the sole investor,sos Gates stated in interidews with the OIIIce that the venture led

t a pinchuk et aL, Russian Tycoon Derittoska in putin Delegotion to Chino, Reuters (June 8, 2018).
'u 6/23/05 Memo, Manafort 6't Davis to Dcripaska tb Rothchild.
' ' Gates 2/2/18 302, at 7,
' Manafort 9/20/18 302, at 2-5; Manafort Income by Year, 2005 — 2015; Manafort Loans from
Wire Transfers, 2005 — 2015,
to Gates 3/12/18 302, at 5.
i4' Mansfort 12/16/15 Dep., at 157:8-11.

131
U.S. Department of Justice
//

to a deterioration of the relationship between Msnafort and Deripaska.'4' In particular, when the
fund failed, litigation between Manafort and Deripaska ensued. Gates stated that, by 2009,
Manafort's business relationship with Deripaska had "dried up." A cc ording to Gates, various
interactions with Deripaska and his intermediaries over the past few years have involved trying to
resolve the legal dispute.s ' As described below, in 2016, Manafort, Gates, Kilimnik, and others
engaged in efforts to revive the Deripaska relationship and resolve the litigation.

ii . Po l i tical Consrdting Work.


Through Deripaska, Manafort was introduced to Rinat Akhmetov, a Ukrainian oligarch
who hired Manafort as a political consultant.ssr In 2005, Akhmetov hired Manafort to engage in
political work supporting the Party of Regions,sss a political party in Ukraine that was generally
understood to align with Russia. Manafort assisted the Party of Regions in regaining power, and
its candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, won the presidency in 2010. Manafort became a close and
trusted political advisor to Yanukovych during his time as President of Ukraine, Yanukovych
served in that role until 2014„when he fled to Russia amidst popular protests. s

iii. Ko ns t antin Kiliinrlik

Kilimnik is a Russian national who has lived in both Russia and Ukraine- and was a
longtime Manafort employee.s's Kilimnik had direct and close access to Yanukovych and his
senior entourage, and he facilitated communications between Manafort and his clients, including
Yanukavych and multiple Ukrainian oligarchs, ' K i l inmik also maintained a relationship with
Deripaska's deputy, Viktor Boyarkin, s a Russian national who previously served in the defense
attache office of thc Russian Embassy to the United States.sss

s~s Gates 2/2/18 302, at 9.

Gates 2/2/1 8 302, at 6,


~' Gates2/2/18 302, at 9-10.
"' Manafort 7/30/14 302, at I; Mansfort 9/20/18 302, at 2.
" Manafort 9/1 1/18 302, at 5-6.
"4 Gates 3/16/18 302, at 1; Davis 2/8/18 302, at 9; Devine 7/6/18 302, at 2-3.
s ' Patten 5/22/18 302, at 5; Gates 1/29/I 8 302, at 18-19; 10/28/97 Kilimnik Visa Record, U, S,
Department of State.
Gates 1/29/1 8 302, at 18-19; Fatten 5/22/I 8 302, at 8; Gates I/3 I/I 8 302, at 4-5; Gates 1/30/18
302, at 2; Gates 2/2/18 302, at 11.
'r Gates I/29/18 302, at 18; Patten 5/22/18 302, at 8.
' Boyarkin Visa Record, U.S. Department of State,
U.S, Department of Justice
//

Manafort told 'the Office that he did not believe Kilimnik was working as a Russian
"'spy."' The FBI, however, assesses that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence. S e veral
pieces of the 0'ffice's evidence — including witness interviews and emails obtained thro~ c o urt-
authorized search warrants — support that assessment:

• Ki l imnik was born on April 27„1970, in Dnipmpetrovsk Oblast, then of the Sov'iet Union,
and attended the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense ffom 1987 until 1992.s ' Sam
Patten, a business partner to Kilimnik, s stated that Kilimnik told him that he was a
translator in the Russian army for seven years and that he later worked in 'the Russian
armament industry selling arms and military equipment.sss

• U.S. government visa records reveal that Kilimnik obtained a visa to travel to the Uhited
States with a Russian diplomatic passport in 1997. s~

• Ki l i mnik worked for the International Republican Institute's (IRI} Moscow office, where
he did translation wotk and general office management fi'om 1998 to 2005.ses While
another offlcial recalled the incident differently,sss onc former associate of Kilimnik's at
IRI told the FBI that Kilimnik was fired from his post because his links to Russian
intelligence were too strong. The same individual stated that it was well known at IRI that
ICilimnik had links to the Russian g overnm
ent.
• Jo nathan Hawker, a British national who was a public relations consultant at FTI
Consulting, worked with DMI on a public relations campaign for Yanukovych. After
Hawker's work for DMI ended, Kilimnik contacted Hawker about working for a Russian

si' Manafort 9/1 1/18 302, at 5.


s" The Office has noted Kilimnik's assessed ties to Russian intelligence in public court fdic~ .
E.g., Gov't Opp. to Mot. to Modify, United States v. Paul J. Manuforr„Jr., 1:17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Dee. 4,
2017), Doc. 73, at 2("/tfrrnafosi (D.D.C.) Gov't Opp, to Mot. to Modify" ).
' l2/17/16 Kilimnik Visa Record, U.S, Department of State.
' ' In August 2018, Patten pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreemcnt to violating the Foreign
Agents Registration Act, and admitted in his Statement of Offense that he also misled and withheld
documents from the Senate Select Committee on Intell@ence in the course of its investigation of Russian
election interference. Plea Agreement, United States v. Sr. Srrriiue/ Par/en, 1:18-cr-260 (O.D.C. Aug. 31,
2018), Doc. 6; Statement of Offense, Ureter States v. 8'. Samuel Pc/re@,1:18-cr-260 (D.D.C. Aug. 31,
2018)„Doc, 7.
'" Patten 5/22/18 302, at 5-6,,

10/28/97 Kilimnik Visa Record, U.S, Department of State,


s i Nix 3/30/18 302 at 1-2
~' Nix 3/30/18 302, at 2.
~r I.enai I/30/18 302, at 2.

133
U.S. Department of Justice
//

government entity on a public-relations project that would promote, in Western and


Ukrainian media, Russia's position on its 2014 invasion of Crimea.' s

• Ga tes suspected that Kilimnik was a "spy," a view that he shared with Manafort, Hawker,
and Alexander van der Zwaan, a n attorney who had worked with DMI on a report for
the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.s7'

4 Contacts daring Paul/If an


afort' s Tttne tvittt the Trtttnp Campaign
i. Paul /vfanafort Joins the Cainpaign

Manafort served on the Trump Campaign from late March to August 19, 2016. On March
29, 2016, the Campaign announced that Manafort would serve as the Campaign's "Convention
Manager/a ' On M a y 1 9, 2016, Manafort was promoted to campaign chairman and chief
strategist, and Gates, who had been assisting Manafort on the Campaign, was appointed deputy
campaign chairman,'7

Thomas Barrack and Roger Stone both recommended Manafort to candidate Trump.svs In
early 2016, at Manafort's request, Barrack suggested to Trump that Manafort join the Campaign
to manage the, Republican Convention. St one had worked with Manafort from approximately
1980 until the mid-1990s through various consulting and lobbying firms. Manafort met Trump in
1982 when Trump hired the Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly lobbying firm,'7 Over the years,
Manafort saw Trmnp at political and social events in New York City and at Stone's wedding, and
Trump requested VIP status at the 1988 and 1996 Republi'can conventions worked by Manafort.s7s

'a Hawker 1/9/1 8 302, at 13; 3/I 8/14 Email, Hawker gc Tulukbaev.
' van der Zwaan pleaded guilty in the U, S. District Court for the Distric't of Columbia to making
fhlse statements to the Special Counsel's Office. Plea Agreement, United States v. Alex van der Zwaan,
1:18-cr-31 (D,D.C. Feb, 20, 2018), Doc. 8.
"e Hawker 6/9/18 302, at 4; van der Zwaan 11/3/17 302, at 22. Manafort said in an interview that
Gates had joked with Kilimnik about Kilimnik's going to meet with his KGB handler. Manafort 10/16/18
302, at 7.
" Press Release —Donald J. T rum
pannounces Campaign Convention Manager Paul J. Manafort,
The American Presidency Project- U C. Santa Barbara (Mar..29, 2016).
Gates I/29/18302,at8;MeghanKeneally, Timeline ofMcmafort'srolein the TrumpCampaign,
ABC News (Oct. 20, 2017).
" G ates 1/29/1 8 302, at 7-8; Manafort 9/11/1 8 302, at 1-2; Barrack 12/12/17 302, at 3.
'"' Barrack 12/12/17 302, at 3; Gates 1/29/18 302, at 7-8.
m' Manafort 10/1 6/18 302, at 6.
'" Msnsfort10/16/18 302, at 6.

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U.S. Department of Justice

According to Gates, in March 2016, Manafort traveled to Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in


Florida to meet with Trump. Trump hired him at that time.s M anafort agreed to work on the
Campaign without pay. Manafort had no meaningful income at this point in time, but resuscitating
his domestic political campaign career could be financially beneficial in the future. Gates reported
that Manafort intended, if Trump won the Presidency, to remain outside the Administration and
monetize his relationship with the Administration.s

ii. Paul Manafort's Campaign-Period Contacts

Immediately upon joining the C ampaign,Manafort directed Gates to prepare for his review
separate memoranda addressed to Deripaska, Akhmetov, Serhiy Lyovochkin, and Boris
Kolesnikov, t h e l ast three being Ukrainian oligarchs who were senior Opposition Bloc
officials, T h e memoranda described Manafort's appointment to the Trump Campaign and
indicated his willingness to consult on Ukrainian politics in the future. On March 30, 2016, Gates
emailed the memoranda and a press release announcing Manafort's appointment to Kilimnik for
translation and dissemination. ' Manafort later followed up with Kilimnik to ensure his messages
had been delivered, emailing on April 11, 2016 to ask whether Kilimnik had shown "our friends"
the media coverage of his new role." K i l i mnik replied, "Absolutely. Every article." Manafort
further asked; "How do we use to get whole. Has Ovd [Oleg Vladimirovich Denpaska] operation
seen?" Kilimnik wrote back the same day, "Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor
[Boyarkin, Deripaska's deputy], who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD."ss3

Gates reported that Manafort said that being hired on the Campaign would be "good for
business" and increase the likelihood that Manafort would be paid the approximately $2 million
he was owed for previous political consulting work in Ukraine. G a t es also explained to the
Office that Manafort thought his role on the Campaign could help "confirm" that Deripaska had
dropped the Pericles lawsuit, and that Gates believed Manafort sent polling data to Deripaska (as

'" Gates 2/2/18 302, at 10,


"' Gates 1/30/18 302, at 4,
Gates 2/2/18 302, at 11,
" See Sharon LaFraniere, Manafort's Trial Isn't About Russia, but It Will Be in the Air, New York
Times (July 30, 2018); Tierney Sneed, Prosecutors Believe Manafort Made $60 Million Consulting in
Ukraine, Talking Points Memo (July 30, 2018); Mykola Vorobiov, How Pro-Russian Forces Will Take
Revenge on Ukraine, Atlantic Council (Sept. 23, 2018); Sergii Leshchenko, Ukraine's Oligarchs Are Still
Calling the Shots, Foreign Policy (Aug. 14, 2014); Interfax-Ukraine, Kolesnikov: Inevitability of
Punishment Neededfor Real Fight Against Smuggling in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (June 23, 2018); Igor Kossov,
Eyiv Hotel Industry Makes Roomfor New Entrants, Kyiv Post (Mar. 7, 2019); Markian Kuzmowycz, How
the Kremlin Can Win Ukraine's Elections, Atlantic Council (Nov. 19, 2018). The Opposition Bloc is a
Ukraine political party that largely reconstituted the Party of Regions.
" 3/30/16 Email, Gates to Kilimnik,
'" 4/11/16 Email, Manafort &, Kilimnik.
'" 4/11/16 Email, Manafort &, Kilimnik.
" Gates 2/2/1 8 302, at 10.

135
U.S. Department of Justice
//

discussed further below) so that Deripaska would not move forward with his lawsuit against
Manafort. " Gates further stated that Deripaska wanted a visa to the United States, that Deripaska
could believe that having Manafort in a position inside the Campaign or Administration might be
helpful to Deripaska, and that Manafort's relationship with Trump could help Deripaska in other
ways as well.ss Gates stated, however, that Manafort never told him anything specific about what,
if @nything, Manafort might be offering Deripaska.ssv

Gates also reported that Manafort instructed him in April 2016 or early May 2016 to send
Kilinmik Campaign internal polling data and other updates so that Kilimnik, in turn, could share
it with Ukrainian oli archs.s's Gates understood that the information would also be shared with
Deripaska .sss Gates reported to the Office
that he did not know why Mana ort wanted him to send pollmg tnformation, but Gates thought it
was a way to showcase Manafort's work, and Manafort wanted to open doors to jobs atter the
Trump Campaign ended.ses Gates said that Manafort's instruction included sending internal
polling data prepared for the Trump Campaign by pollster Tony Fabrizio,ss' Fabrizio had worked
with Manafort for years and was brought into the Campaign by Manafort. Gates stated that, in
accordance with Manafort" s instruction, he periodically sent Kilimnik polling data via WhatsApp;
Gates then deleted the communications on a daily basis. ' G ates further told the Office that, after
Manafort left the Campaign in mid-August, Gates sent Kilimnik polling data less frequently and
that the data he sent was more publicly available information and less internal data.sss

Gates's account about ollin d ata is consistent


with multiple emails that
Kilimn s ent to U.S, assocIates an press contacts etween late July and mid-August of 2016.
Those emails referenced "internal polling," described the status of the Trump Campaign and

' ' Gates 2/2/I 8 302, at 11,' Gates 9/27/18 302 {serial 740), at 2.
's Gates 2/2/I 8 302, at 12.
' Gates 2/2/18 302, at 12,
sss Gates I/31/18 302, at 17; Gates 9/27/18 302 (serial 740), at 2. In a later 'interview with the
Office, Gates stated that Manafort directed him to send polling data to Kilimnik after a May 7, 2016 meeting
between Manafoit and Kilimnik in New York, discussed in Volume I„Section IV.A.8,b,iii, infra. Gates
11/7/18 302, at 3.
's Gates 9/27/18 302, Part II, at 21
w Gates 2/12/18 302, at 10; Gates I/31/18 302, at 17.
"' Gates 9/27/18 302 (serial 740), at 2; Gates 2/7/18 302, at 15.
s Gates I/31/18 302, at 17.
srs Gates 2/I 2/I 8 302, at 11-12, According to Gates, his access to internal polling dat@ was more
limited because Fabrizio was himself distanced from the Campaign at that point.

136
U.S. Department of Justice

Manafort's role in it , and assessed Trump's prospects for victo .sss M anafort did not
acknowled' e instructin Gates to send Kilimnik internal data,

The Office also obtained contemporaneous emails that shed light an the purpose of the
communicahons with Deripaska and that are consistent with Gates's account. For example, in
response to a July 7, 2016, email lram a Ukrainian reporter about Manafort's failed Deripaska-
backed investment, Manafort asked Kilimnik whether there had been any movement on "this issue
with our friend." st Gates stated that "our f'riend" likely referred ta Deripaska,sss and Manafort
*
told the OAice that the "issue' (and "aur biggest interest," as stated below} was a solution to the
Deripaska-Pericles issue.sss Kilimnik replied:

I am carefully optimistic on the questian of our biggest interest.

0'ur friend [Boyarkin] said there is lately significantly more attention to the campaign in
his boss' [Deripaska's] mind, and he will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to
yau pretty soon, understanding all the time, sensitivity. I am m'o re than sure that it will be
resolved and we will get back to the original relationship with V.'s boss [Deripaska].s s

Eight minutes later, Manafort replied that Kilimnik should tell Boyarkin's "boss," a reference to
Deripaska, "that if he needs private briefings we can accommadate." ' M anafort has alleged to
the Office that he was willing to brief Deripaska only on public campaign matters and gave an
example; why Trump selected Mike Pence as the Vice-Presidential running mate.sss Manafort
said he never gave Deripaska a briefing.s M anafort noted that if Trump won, Deripaska would
want to use Manafort to advance whatever mterests Deripaska had in the United States and
elsewhere.ss4

~ 8/18/16 Email, Kilimmkto Dirkse; 8/18/16 Email, Kilimnikto Schultz; 8/1S/16 Email, Kilimnik
to Maison; 7/27/16 Email, Kilimnik to Ash; 8/18/16 Email, Kilimnik to Ash; 8/18/16 Email, Kilimnik to
Jackson„' 8/I 8/16 Email, Kilimnik to Mendoza-Wilson,' 8/19/1 6 Email, Kilimnik to Patten,
896

"r 7/7/16 Email, Manafort ta Kilimnik.


sssGates 2/2/18 302, at 13.

Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 6.


7/8/1 6 Email, Kilimnik to Manafort.
m' 7/8/16 Email, Kilimnik to Manafort; Gates 2/2/18'302, at 13.
t Manafort 9/11/1 S 302, at 6.
sm Manafort 9/11/1 8 302, at 6,
s " Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 6.

137
U.S. Department of Justice
//

iii. Paul Manafort's Two Campaign-Period Meetings with Konstantin Eiltrnnik


in the United States

Manafort twice met with Kilimnik in person during the campaign period — once in May
and again in August 2016, The first meeting tookplace on May 7, 2016, in New York City.sos In
the days leading to the meeting, Kilimnik had been working to gather information about the
political situation in Ukraine. That included information gleaned from a trip that former Party of
Regions official Yuriy Boyko had recently taken to Moscow —strip that likely included meetings
between Boyko and high-ranking Russian officials. s KIlimnik then traveled to Washington, D,C.
on or about May 5, 2016; while in Washington, Kilimnik had pm-arranged meetings with State
Department employees.s
Late on the evening of May 6, Gates arranged for Kilimnik to take a 3:00 a.m. train to meet
Manafort in New York for breakfast on May 7.+ A ccording to Manafort, during the meeting, he
and Kilimnik talked about events in Ukraine, and Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the Trump
Campaign, expecting Kilimnik to pass the information back to individuals in Ukraine and
elsewhere.s s Manafort stated that Opposition Bloc members recognized Manafort's position on
the Campaign was an opportunity, but Kilimnik did not ask for anything, 'c Kilimnik spoke about
a plan of Boyko to boost election participation in the eastern zone of Ukraine, which was the base
for the Opposition Bloc.m' Kilimnik returned to Washington, D.C. right after the meeting with
Manafort.

Manafort met with Kilimnik a second time at the Grand Havana Club in New York City
on the evening of August 2, 2016. The events leading to the meeting are as follows; On July 28,
2016, ICiilmnik flew from Kiev 'to Moscow, ' Th e next day, Kilimnik wrote to Manafort
requesting that they meet, using coded language about a conversation he had that day, ' I n an
email with a subject Ime "Black Caviar," Kilimnik wrote;

I met today with the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar several years ago. We
spent about 5 hours talking about his story, and I have several important messages fi om
him to you. He asked me to go and brief'you on our conversation. I said I have to run it
by you first, but in principle I am prepared to do it... . It has to do about the future of his

w' 4/26/16 Email, Kilimnik to Purcell, at 2; Gates 2/2/18 302, at 12; Patten 5/22/18 302, at 6-7;
Gates 11/7/18 302, at 3.
" 5/7/16 Email, Kilimnik to Charap tk Kimmage; 5/7/16 Email, Kasanof to Kilimnik;
"' 5/6/16 Email, Manafort to Gates; 5/6/16 Email, Gates to Kilimnik.
' ' Manafort 10/11/1 8 302, at 1.
ns Manafort 10/11/18 302, at 1,
s" Manafort 10/11/18 302, at 1.
'" 7/25/16 Email, Kilimnik to katrin@yana.ldev.ua(2:17:34 a.m.).
'i 7/29/16 Email, Kilimnik to Manafort (10:51 a,m,),
U.S. Department of Justice
//

country, and is quite interesting.m

Manafort identified "the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar" as Yanukovych. He
explained that, in 2010, he and Yanukovych had lunch to celebrate the recent presidential election.
Yanu'kovych gave Manafort a large jar of black caviar that was worth approximately $30,000 to
$40,000s' Manafort's identiftcation of Yanukovych as "the guy who gave you your biggest black
caviar jar" is consistent, with Kilimnik being in Moscow — where Yanukovych resided — when
Kilimnik wrote "I met today with the u " and'with a December 2016 email in which Kilimnik
referred to Yanukovych as "BG," s's Manafort replied to Kilimnik's July 29
email, "Tuesday [August 2] is best... Tues or wads inNYC.' '

Three days later, on July 31, 2016, Kilimnik flew back to Kiev from Moscow, and on that
same day, wrote to Manafort that he needed "about 2 hours" for their meeting "because it is a long
caviar story to telL" ' K i l i mnik wrote that he would arrive at JFK on August 2 at 7:30 p.m., and
he and Manafort agreed to a late ditmer that night,sts Documentary evidence — including fllght,
phone, and hotel records, and the timing of text messages exchangedms —confirms the dinner toolc
place as planned on August 2.~t

As to the contents of the meeting itself, the accounts of Manafort and Gates —who arrived
late to the dinner — differ in certain respects. But their versions of events, when assessed alongside
available documentary evidence and what Kilimnik told business associate Sam Patten, indicate
that at least three principal topics were discussed,

First, Manafort and Kilimnik discussed a plan to resolve the ongoing political problems in
Ukraine by creating an autonomous republic in its more industrialized eastern region of Donbas, s

"4 7/29/16 Email, Kilimink to Manafort (10:51 a.m.).


"' Msnafort 9/12/1 8 302, at 3.
ms 7/29/16 Enw'I, Manafort to Kilimnik;

" 7/29/1 6 Email, Manafort to Kilimnik.


su 7/31/16 Email, Manafort to Kilimnik.
m 7/31/16 Email, Manafort to Kiflmnik.
s Kilimnik 8/2/16 CBP Record; Call Records of Konstantin Kilimnik
~; C afl Records of Rick Gates ; 8/2-3/16, Kilimnik Park Lane Hots
Receipt.
' Deripaska's private plane sdso flew to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on the evening of August
2, 2016. A c cording to Customs snd Border Protection records, the only passengers on the plane were
Deripaska's wife, daughter, mother, and father-in-law, and separate records obtained by our Offtcc confnm
that Kilim'nik flew on a commercial tlight to New York.
~ The Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics, which are located m the Donbas region of
Ukraine, declared themselves independent in response to the popular unrest in 2014 that removed President
Yanukovych &om power. Pro-Russian Ukrainian mtlitia forces, with backing from the Russian military,
liave occupied the region since 2014. U nder the Ysnukovych-backed plan, Russia would assist in
withdrawing the military, and Donbas would become an autonomous region within Ulo aine with its own
U.S. Department of lustice
//

and having Yanukovych, the Ukrainian President ousted in 2014, elected to head that republic.
That plan, Manafort later acknowledged, constituted a "backdoor" means for Russia to control
eastern Ukraine.922 Manafort initially said that, ifhe had not cut off the discussion, Kilimnik would
have asked Manafort in the August 2 meeting to convince Trump to come out in favor of the peace
plan,and Yanukovych would have expected Manafort to use his connections in Europe and
Ukraine to support the plan. 2 Manafort also initially told the Office that he had said to Kilimnik
that the plan was crazy, that the discussion ended, and that he did not recall Kilimnik askin
Manafort to reconsider the lan after their Au s t 2 meetin . Ma n afort said

t athereactednegativelyto Yanukovyc sending — years ster — an "urgent'


request when Yanukovych needed him. 2 When confronted with an email written by Kilimnik on
or about December 8, 2016, however, Manafort acknowledged Kilimnik raised the peace plan
again in that email, M a n afort ultimately acknowled ed Kilimnik also raised the'eace lan in
Janu a n d February 2017 meetings with Manafort
929

Second, Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the state of the Trump Campaign and Manafoit's
plan to win the election,s" That briefing encompassed the Campaign's messaging and its internal
polling data. According to Gates, it also included discussion of "battleground" states, which
Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.92' Manafort did not
refer ex licitl t o "battle u n d"' states in his tellin of the Au ust 2 discussion,

prime minister. The plan emphasized that Yanukovych would be an ideal candidate to bring peace to the
regioii as prime ininister of the republic, snd facilitate the reintegration of the re ion into Ukraine with the
suppori of the U.S. and Russian presiderns. As noted above, according to the written
documentation describi t h e l aii for the lan to work, bath U.S. snd Russian support were necessary.
2/21/1 8 Email, Manafort, Ward, 8'. Fabrizio, at 3-5,
~2 Manafoit 9/11/18 302, at 4;

"27 Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 4,


929 Manafort 9/12/18 302, at 4.
927 Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 51 Manafoii 9/12/1 8
302, at4,
' Manafort 9/12/18 302, at 4;
Documentary
evidence confirms the peace-plan iscussions in 2018. / 19/18 Em ', Fabrizio to Ward (forwarding email
from Manafort); 2/21/18 Email, Manafort to Ward 8c Fsbrizio.
"' Manafort 9/11/18 302, at 5.
' Ga'tes 1/30/18 302, at 3, 5.

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U.S. Department of Justice

Third, according to Gates and what Kilimnik told Patten, Manafort and Kilimnik discussed
two sets of fmancial disputes related to Manafort's previous work in the region. Those consisted
of the unresolved Deripaska lawsuit and the funds that the Opposition Bloc owed to Manafort for
his political consulting work and how Manafort might be able to obtain payment,s'

After the meeting, Gates and Manafort both stated that they left separately from Kilimnik
because they knew the media was Iracking Manafort and wanted to avoid media reporting on his
connections ta Kilimnik.ss»

c. Post-Resignation Activities

Manafort resigned fram the Trump Campaign in mid-August 2016, ayyroximately two
weeks after his second meeting with Kilimnik, amidst negative media reporting about his political
consulting work for the pro-Russian Party of Regions in Uluaine, D espite his resignation,
Manafort continued to offer advice to various Campaign officials through the November election,
Manafort told Gates that he still syoke with Kushner, Bannon, and candidate Trump,sss and some
of those post-resignation contacts are documented in emails. For example, on October 21, 2016,
Manafart sent Kushner an email and attached a strategy memorandum proposing that the
Campaign make the case against Clinton "as the failed and corrupt champion of the establishment"
and that "Wikileaks provides the Trump campaign the ability to make the case in a very credible
way — by using the words of Clinton, its campaign officials and DNC members."sss Later, in a
November 5, 2016 email to Kushner entitled "Securing the Victory," Manafort stated that he was
"really feeling good about our prospects on Tuesday and focusing on preserving the victory," and
that he was concerned the Clinton Campaign would respond to a loss by "mav[ing] immediately
to discredit the [Trump] victory and claim voter fraud and cyber-iraud, mcluding the claim that
the Russians have hacked into the voting machines and tampered with the results/"8 "

Trump was elected President on November 8, 2016, Manafort told the Office that, in the
wake af Trump's victary, he was not interested in an Administration job. M anafort instead
preferred to stay on the "outside," and monetize his campaign position to generate business given
his familiarity and relationship with Trump and the incoming Administration. Man afart
appeared to follow that plan, as he traveled to the Middle East, Cuba, South Korea, Japan, and
China and was paid to explain what a Trump presidency would entail.sss

Manafort's activities in early 2017 included meetings relating to Ukraine and Russia. The

"' Gates I/30/IS 302, at 2-4; Patten 5/22/18 302, at 7.


s» Gates I/30/I 8 302, at 5; Manafart 9/11/18 302, at 5.
'3» Gates 2/12/18 302, at 12.

NOSC00021517-20 (10/2 I/I 6 Email, Manafort to Kushner).


' NOSC00021573-75 (11/5/16 Email, Manafort ta Kushner).
» Manafart 9/12/18 302, at I, 4-5; Gates II30/I 8 302, at 4.
~' Manafart 9/1 2/IS 302, at I,

141
U.S. Department of Justice
//

first meeting, which took place in Madrid, Spain in January 2017, was with Georgiy Oganov.
Oganov, who had previously worked at the Russian Embassy in the United States, was a senior
executive at a Deripaska company and was believed to report directly to Deripaska.s M anafort
initially denied attending the meeting. When he later acknowledged it, he claimed that the meeting
had been arranged by his lawyers and concerned only the Pericles lawsuit.s4' Other evidence,
however, provides reason to doubt Manafort*s statement that the sole topic of the meeting was the
Pericles lawsuit. In particular, text messages to Manafort from a number associated with Kflimnik
suggest that Kilimnik and Boyarkin — not Manafort's counsel — had arranged the meeting between
Manafort and Oganov.sos Kilimnik's message states that the meeting was supposed to be "not
about money or Pericles" but instead "about recreating [the] old friendship" — ostensibly between
Manafort and Deripaska — "and talking about global politics."s4' Manafort also replied by text that
he "need[a] this finished before Jan. 20,"s which appears to be a reference to resolving Pericles
before the inauguration.

On January 15, 2017, three days after his return from Madrid, Manafort emailed K.T.
McFarland, who was at that time designated to be Deputy National Security Advisor and was
formally appointed to that position on January 20, 2017, M an afort's January 15 email to
McFarland stated: "I have some important information I want to share that I picked up on my
travels over the last month." te Manafort told the Office that the email referred to an issue
regarding Cuba, not Russia or Ukraine, and Manafort had traveled to Cuba in the past month. e
Either way, McFarland — who was advised by Flyim not to respond to the Manafort inquiry-
appears not to have responded to Msnafort.s4s

Manafort told the Office that around the time of the Presidential Inauguration in January„
he met with K ilimnik and Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Lyovochkin at the Westin Hotel in
Alexandria, Virginia.s~ During this meeting, Kilimnik again discussed the Yanukovych peace
plan that he had broached at the August 2 meeting and in a detailed December 8, 2016 message
found in K i limnik's DMP email account, In th at December 8 email, which Manafort

4 Kalashnikcva 5/17/18 302, at 4; Gary Lee, Soviet Eothaesy'e Identity Crisis, Washington Post
{Dec, 20, 1991); Georgy g Oganov Executive prof<& k Biography,Bloomberg (Mar. 12, 2019J.
" Manafort 9/11/1 8 302, at 7.
~s Text Message, Manafort 4 Kilimnik,
t Text Message, Manafott k Kilimnik; Manafort 9/12/18 302, at 5.
e+ Text Message, Manafort gc Kilimnik.
~' 1/15/17 Email, Manafort, McFarland, k Flynn.
~e 1/1 5/17 Email, Manafort, McFarland, k Flynn.
" M anafort 9/11/18 302, at 7.
t 1/15/17 Email, Manafcrt, McFarland, 4 Flynn; McFarland 12/22'/l7 302, at 1'8-19,
Manafort 9/1 1/18 302, at 7; Manafort 9/21/18
302„at 3; I 19/17 8t 1/22/ 7 Kilimnik CBP Recor s, Jan, 19 and 22, 2017; 2016-17 Text Messages,
Killmnik 8'c Patten, at 1-2.
5

142
U.S. Deparhnent of Justice

acknowledged having read, " Kilimn'ik wrote, "[a]11 that is required to start the process is a very
minor 'wink' (or slight push) Irom DT" — an apparent reference to President-elect Trump — "and
a decision to authorize you to be a 'special representative' and manage this process." Kilimnik
assured Manafort, with that authority, he "could start the process and within 10 days visit Russia
[Yanukovych] guarantees your reception at the very top level," and that "DT could have peace in
Ukraine basically within a few months after inauguration." s

As noted above, and statements to the Office Manafort sou ht to


uali h i sen a ementonandsu o r t f orthe lan.

On February 26, 2017, Manafort met Kilimnik in Madrid, where Kilimnik had flown from
Moscow.sss In his first two interviews with the Office, Manafort denied meeting with Kilimnik
on his Madrid trip and then — after being confmnted with documentary evidenoe that Kil imnik was
in Madrid at the same time as him — recognized that he met him in Madrid. Manafort said that
Kilimnik had updated him on a oriminal investigation into so-called "black ledger" payments to
Manafort that was bein c onducted b U k raine's National Anti-Corru tion Bureau.

Manafort remained in contact with Kilimnik throughout 2017 and into the spring of 2018.

"' Manafort 9/11/I 8 302, at 6;


9u

" 2/21/17 Email, Zatynaiko to Kilimnik


Manafort 9/13/18 302, at 1.
In resolving whether Manafort breached
his cooperation p ea agreement by lying to the Office, t e i strict court found that Manafort lied about,
among other things, his contacts with Kilimnik regarding the peace plan, including the meeting in Madrid.
Maaaforr 2/13/19 Transcript, at 29-31, 40.

143
U,S. Department of Justice
//

Those contacts included matters pertaining to the criminal charges brought by the Office,~s and
the Ukraine peace plan. In early 2018, Manafort retained his longtime polling firm to craft a draft
poll in Utuaine, sent the pollsters a three-page primer on the plan sent by Kilimnik, and worked
with Kilimnik to formulate the polling questions,~ The primer sent to the pollsters specifically
called for the United States and President Trump to support the Autonomous Republic of Donbas
with Yanukovych as Prime Minister,ss' a'nd a series of questions in the draft poll asked for opinions
on Yanukovych's role in resolving the conflict in Donbas,v z (The poll was not solely about
Donbas; it also sought participants' views on leaders apart from Yanukovych as they pertained to
the 2019 Ukraine presidential election.)

The Office has not uncovered evidence that Manafort brought the Ukraine peace plan to
the attention of the Trump Campaign or the Trump Administration, Kilimnik continued his efforts
to promote the peaoe plan to the Executive Branch (e.g., U,S. Department of State) into the summer
of 2018,363

B. Post-Election and Transition-Period Contacts

Trump was elected President on November 8, 2016, Beginning immediately after the
election, individuals connected to the Russian govenunent started contacting officials on the
Trump Campaign and Transition Team through multiple channels — sometimes through Russian
Ambassador Kislyak and at other times through individuals wbo sought reliable contacts through
U.S. persons not formally tied to the Campaign or Transition Team. The most senior levels of the
Russian government encouraged these efforts. The investigation did not establish that these efforts
reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election-
interference activities.

1, Immediate Post-Election Artivi

As soon as news broke that Trump had been elected President, Russian government
officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new'
Administration. They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to cormect with
senior officials amund the President-Elect. As explained below, those efforts entailed both official
contact through the Russian Embassy in the United States and outieaches —sanctioned at high
levels of the Russian government — through business rather than political contacts,

kfattafog (D.D.C.) Crov't Opp. to Mot. to Modify„at 2; Supetseding Indictment $$48-51,


United gttttes V. Paid J. /vfrt~fort, Jr„1 :17-cr-201 (D.D.C. June 8, 2018), Doc. 318.
"' 2/12/18 Email, Fabrizio to Manafort tk Ward; 2/16/18 Email, Fabrizie to Manafort„2/19/18
Email, Fabrizio to Wml; 2/21/18 Email, Manafort to Ward 86 Fabrizio.
"' 2/21/18 Email, Manafort to Ward /16Fabrizio (7;16:49 a,m.) (attachment),
wi 3/9/18 Email, Ward to Manafort 86 Fabrizio (attachment).
963

144
U.S. Department of Justice

sc 0utreach from the Russian Government

At approximately 3. a.m. on election night, Trump Campaign press secretary Hope Hicks
received a telephone call on her personal cell phone from a person who sounded foreign but was
calling from a nmnber with a DC area code,ss» Although Hicks had a hard time understanding the
person, she could make out the words "'Putin call."ss Hicks told the caller to send her an email.+

The followingm
orning,onNovember 9, 2016, Sergey Kuznetsov, an official at the Russian
Embassy to the United States, emailed Hicks lrom his Gr ail address with the subject line,
"Message from Putin."ss Attached to the email was a message from Putin, in both English and
Russian, which Kuznetsov asked Hicks to convey to the President-Elect.s ' In the message, Putin
offered his congratulations to Trump for his electoral victory, stating he "look[ed] forward to
working with [Trump] on leading Russian-American relations out of crisis,"ss

Hicks forwarded the emrdl to Kushner, asking, "Can you look into this'? Don't want, to get
duped but don't want to blow off Putinl nt K u shner stated in Congressional testimony that he
believed that it would be possible to verify the authenticity of the forwarded email through the
Russian Ambassador, whom Kushner had previously met in April 2016, ' U n able to recall the
Russian Ambassador's name, Kushrier emailed Dimitri Simes of CNI, whom he had consulted
previously about Russia, see Uolume I, Section IU.A.4, supra, and asked, "What is the name of
Russian ambassador?'o~ K ushner forwarded Simes's response —which identified Klslyak by
name — to Hicks.s~ After checking with Kushner to see what he had learned, Hicks conveyed
Putin's letter to transition officials.s» Five days later, on November 14, 2016, Trump and Putin
spoke by phone in the presence of Transition Tcain members, including incoming National
Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 3.


Hicks 12/8/ I 7 302, at 3.
'Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 3.
"NOSC00044381 (11/9/16 Email, Kuznetso to Hicks (5:27 a.m.)).
ns NOSC00044381-82 (11/9/16 Email, Kuznetsov to Hicks (5;27 am)),
NOSC00044382 (11/9/16 Letter from Putin to President-Elect Trump (Nov. 9, 2016)
(translation)).
"' NOSC00044381 (11/9/16 Email, Hicks to Kushner (10.26 a.m.)).
"' Statement of Jared C. Kushner to Congressional Committees, at 4 (Jul. 24, 2017).
~s NOSC00000058 (11/9/16 Email, Kushner to Simes (10'.28 a.m.)); Statement of Jared Kushner
to Congressional Committees, at 4 (Jul. 24, 2017).
" NOSC00000058 (11/9/16 Email, Kushner to Hicks (11:05;44 rem.)).
n» Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 3A.
" Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 8-10; seeDoug O. Ware, Trump, Itussta's Prein Talk about Syria, Icy.
Relations in Phone Call, UPI (Nov. 14, 2016).

145
U.S, Department of Justice

h. High-Level Encoaragent ant of Contacts through Alternative Channels

As Russian officials in the United States reached out to the President-Elect and his team, a
number of Russian individuals working in the private sector began their own efforts to make
contact. Petr Aven, a Russian national who heads Alfa-Bank, Russia's largest commercial bank,
described to the Office interactions with Putin during this time period that might account for the
flurry of Russian activity.ws

Aven told the Office that he is one of approximately 50 wealthy Russian businessmen who
regularly meet with Putin in the Kremlin; these 50 men are often referred to as "oligarchs.'"w
Aven told the Office that he met on a quarterly basis with Putin, mcluding in the fourth quarter
(Q4) of 2016, shortly after the U.S. Presidential election.~ A ven said that he took these meetings
seriously and understood that any suggestions or critiques that Putin made during these meetings
were implicit directives, and that there would be consequences for Aven if he did not follow
through. 9 As was typical, the 2016 Q4 meeting with Putin was preceded by a preparatory meeting
with Putin's chief of staff, Anton Vaino. 8

According to Aven, at his Q4 2016 one-on-one meeting with Putin,ss' Putin raised the
prospect that the United States would impose additional sanctions on Russian interests, including
sanctions against Aven and/or Alfa-Bank,sss Putin suggested that Aven needed to take steps to
protect himself and Alfa-Bank. 8 Aven also testified that Putin spoke of the difficulty faced by
the Russian govenuuent in getting in touch with the incoming Trump Administration,s@
According to Aven, Putin indicated that he did not know with whom formally to speak and
generally did not know the people amund the President-Elect. 89

9'8 Aven mvided information to the Office in an interview and through an attorney proffer,~

Aven 8/2/18 302, at 7.


978

w9 Aven 8/2/18 302, at 2-3.


I and interview with the Of6ce,
Aven referred to the igh-nadung Russian government officials using numbers (e.g., Official 1, Official 2).
Aven separately confirmed through an attorney proffer that Official 1 was Putin and Official 2 was Putm's
chief of staff, Vaino. See Affidavit of Ryan Junck (Aug. 2, 2018) (hard copy on file).
' At the time of fus Q4 2016 meeting with Putin, Aven was genera0y aware of the press coverage
about Russian interference in the U S. election. According to Aven, he did not discuss that topic with Putin
at any point, and Putin did not mention the rationale behind the threat of new sanctions. Aven 8/2/18 302,
at 5-7.

989
U.S. Department of Justice

Aven told Putin he would take steps to protect himself and the Alfa-Bank
shareholders om potential, sanctions, and one of those steps would be to try to reach out to the
incoming Administration to establish a line of communication.vs A v o n described Putin
responding with skepticism about Avon's prospect for success.s'7 According to Aven, although
Putin did not exp'ressly direct him to reach out to the Trump Transition Team, Aven understood
that Putin expected him to try to respond to the concerns he had raised. Avo n's efforts, are
described in Volume I, Section IV,B.51is>pa.

2. Ki r ill Dmitriev" s Transition-Era Outreach to the Incomin Administration

Aven's description of his interactions with Putin is consistent with the behavior of Kirill
Dmitriev, a Russian national who heads Russia's sovereign wealth fund and is closely connected
to Putln. Dmitriev undertook efforts to meet members of the incoming Trump Administration in
the months after the election, Dmitriev asked a close business associate who worked for the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) royal court, George Nader, to introduce him to Trump transition officials,
and Nader eventually arranged a meeting in the Seychelles between Dmitrlev and Erik Prmce, a
Trump Campaign supporter and an associate of Steve Bannon. ' I n addition, the UAE national
secmity advisor introduced Dmitriev to a hedge fund manager and friend of Jared Kushner, Rick
Gerson, in late November 2016. In December 2016 and January 20176 Dmitriev and Gerson
worked on a proposal for reconciliation between the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev
implied he cleared through Putin, G erson provided that pmposal to Kushner before the
inauguration, and Kushner later gave copies to Bannon and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

u. JI@ckgrorrrrrf

Dmitriev is a Russian national who was appointed CEO of Russia's sovereign wealth fund,
the Russi'an Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), when it was founded in 2011.'9 Dmitriev reported
directly to Putin and frequently referred to Putin as his "boss,' 9'

RDIF has co-tnvested in various projects with UAE sovereign wealth funds. Dm i t riev
regularly interacted with Nader, a senior advisor to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed
986

987
Aven 8/2/18 302, at 6.
Aveu 8/2/18 302, at 4-8;
989 Nader provided infomtation to the Office in inulti le interviews, all but one of which were
conductedunder a proffer agreement The
invest' ators also interviewed Prince un er a proffer agreement. Bannon was interviewed by the OQice,
under a proffer agreement.
Kirill Dm i t riev Bi o graphy, R u ssian D i r ect In vestment F u nd, o va rluble u r
https;//rdif ru/En~ e r son dmitriev kiriIV, See o/so Overview, Russian Direct Investment Fund,
available
ar https://rdif,ru/Eng About/.
"" Gerson 6/15/18 302, at I, See also, s.g., 12/14/16 Tern Message, Dmltriev to Gersou; I/9/17
Text Message, Dmitriev to Gerson.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

(Crown Prince Mohammed), in connection with RDIF's dealings with the. UAE. 9 Putin wanted
Dmitriev to be in charge of both the financial and the political relationship between Russia and the
Gulf states, in part because Dmitriev had been educated in the West and spoke English fluently.'
Nader considered Dmitriev to be Putin's interlocutor in the Gulf region, and would relay
Dmitriev's views directly to Crown Prince Mohammed.s '

Nader developed contacts with both U.S. presidential campaigns during the 2016 election,
and kept Dmitriev abreast of his efforts to do so. 0 According to Nader, Dmitriev said that his
and the government of Russia's preference was for candidate Trum to win, and asked Nader to
assist him in meetin members of the Trum Cam ai n.999
Nader did not
introduce Dnutrtev to anyone associated with the Trump Campatgn afore the election.999

Erik Prince is a businessman who had relationships with various individuals associated
with the Trump Campaign; including Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., and Roger Stone.'003
Prince did not have a formal role in the Campaign, although he offered to host a fundraiser for

9~ Nader 1/22/18 302, at 1-2; Nader 1/23/1 8 302, at 2-3; 5/3/16 Email, Nader to Phares; ~

Nader V22/18 302, at 1-2.


"' Nader 1/22/18302, at3.
w0 Nader 1/22/18 302, at 3;
~' Nader 1/22/1 8 302, at 3;
990

"' Nader 1/22/18 302, at 3.


1000

1001

1002

1003

1004

'"' Prince 4/4/18 302, at 1-5; Barmen 2/14/18 302, at 21.


U.S, Department of Justice

Trump and sent unsolicited policy papers on issues such as foreign policy, trade, and Russian
ele'ction interference to Bannon.' "

After the ele'ction, Prince frequently visited transition ofQces at Trump Tower, primarily
to meet with Bannon but on occasion to meet Michael Flynn and others.'mv Prince and Bannon
would disouss, inter alia, foreign policy issues and Prince's recommendations regarding who
should be appointed to fill key national securi os i tions.' Alt h ough Prince was not formall
affiliated with the transition, Nader received assurances
that the incoming Administration considered Prince a trusted associate.'0

b. Eirill Jsmirriev s Post-Eleeriorr Corrraeis SVth tire Iiieaealrrg AdiirirtiSrraiioii

Soon after midnight on election night, Dmit'riev messaged


who was travelin t o New York to attend the 2016 Worl C ess Championship.
Dmitry Peskov, the
Russian Federation's ress secreta, who was also attendin the World Chess Cham ionshi .' '
1011

At approximately 2;40 a.m. on November 9, 2016 news re orts stated that candidate
Clinton had called President-Elect Tr to c oncede. At

wmte to Dmitriev, "Putin as won.""

' 0 Prince 4/4/1 8 302, at 1, 3-4; Prince 5/3/18 302, at 2; Bannon 2/14/1 8 302, at 19-20; 10/18/16
Email, Prince to Bannon.
'~ Flynn 11/20/17 302„at 6; Flynn 1/11/18 302, «t 5; Flynn 1/24/18 302, at 5-6; Flynn 5/1/18 302,
at 11; Prince 4/4/18 302, at 5, 8; Bannon 2/14/18 302, at 20-21; 11/1Z/16 Email, Pr'ince to Corallo,
Prince 4/4/18 302, at 5; Bannon 2/14/18 302, at 21.
1000

1010
Nader 1/22/18 302, at 5-61 ~

101i

1012

1013

1010

1015
U.S. Department of Justice
//

Later that morning, Dmitriev contacted Nader, who was in New York, to request a meeting
with the "key people" in the incoming Administration as soon as possible in light of the '"[g]rest
results.""' He asked Nader to convey to the incoming Administration that "we want to start
rebuilding the relationship in whatever is a comfortable pace for them. We understand all of the
sensitivities and are not in a rush."" ' Dm i t riev and Nader had previously discussed Nader
introducing him to the contacts Nader had made within the Trump Campaign.' " D m itriev also
told Nader that he would ask Putin for permission to travel to the United States, where he would
be able to speak to media outlets about the positive impact of Trump's election and the need for
reconciliation between the United States and Russia, ' '

Later that day, Dmitriev flew to New York, where Peskov was separately traveling to
attend the chess tournament.'~ D m i triev invited Nader to the opening of the tournament and
noted that, if there was "a chance to see anyone key from Trump camp," he "'would love to start
building for the future.'u~' Dmitriev also asked Nader to invite Kushner to the event so that he
(Dmitriev) could meet him.' Nad er did not pass along Dmitriev's invitation to anyone
connected with the incoming Administration,' s A lthough one World Chess Federation official
recalled hearing from an attendee that President-Elect Trump had stopped by the tournament, the
investigation did not establish that Trump or any Campaign or Transition Team official attended
the event.'~4 And the President's written answers denied that he, had."

Nader stated that Dmitriev continued to press him to set up a meeting with nansition
officials, and was particularly focused on Kushner and Trump Jr,' Dmi u iev told Nader that
Putin would be ver r a teful to Nader and that a meetin would make histo

"" 11/9/1 6 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (9:34 a.m.); Nader 1/22/18 302, at 4,
"'r 11/9/16 Text Message, Dmi1riev to Nader (11:58 p.m.).
i Nader 1/22/18 30'2,at3.
" s 11/9/16 Text Messa e Dmitriev to Nader 10:06 am.), 11/9/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to
Nader (10:10 a.m.);
11/9/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (IQ:08 a.m.); 11/9/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to
Nader (3:40 p.m.); Nader 1/22/18 302, at 5.
'+' 11/9/1 6 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (7:10 p.m,),
11/10/16 Text Message, Dmiti'iev to Nader (5:20 a.m,..
' " Nader 1/22/18 3Q2, at 5-6.
"+ Marinello 5/31/18 302, at 2-3; Nader 1/22/18 302, at 5-6.
' " Written Responses of Donahl J. Trump (Nov. 20, 2018), at 17-18 (Response to Q'uestion V,
Part (a),
Nader 1/22/18 302, at 6;
M
' ' Nader 1/22/18 302 at61

150
U.S. Department of Justice
//

1028
Accordmg to Na er, Dmitriev was very
anxious to connect w th the incoming A in i slration and told Nader that he would tiy other routes
to do so besides Nader himself,'03' Nader did not ultimately introduce Dmitriev to anyone
associated with the incoming Administration during Dmitriev's post-election trip to New York '0 '

In early December 2016, Dmitriev again broached the topic of meeting incoming
Administration officials with Nader in January or February.3033 Dmitriev sent Nader a list of
publicly available quotes of Dmitrlev speaking positively about Donald Trump "in case they
[were] helpful '»033

c. Erik Prince and Lirili Dntitriev Meet in the Seychelies

i. George ¹ d er and Erik Prince Arrange Seychelles Mech'ng with Dminiev

Nader traveled to New York in early January 2017 and had lunchtime and dinner meetings
w ith Erik Prince on January 3, 2017,' 3 N ader and Prince discussed Dmitriev.' ' Nad er
informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump
Administration.'030 ' he told Prince that Dmitriev had been us Nad er to
introduce him to someone from e i ncomin A dministration
.' 33 Nader suggested, in light of Prince' s
relationship with Transition Team officials, that Prmce and Dmitriev meet to discuss issues of
mutual concern, 3030 Prince told Nader
that he needed to think further about it and to check with Transition Team o icials.'039

After his dinner with Prince, Nader sent Prince a link to a Wikipedia entry about Dmitriev,
and sent Dmitriev a message stating that he had just met "with some key people w'ithin the family
and inner circle" — a reference to Prince — and that he had spoken at length and positively about

1039

0 Nader 1/22/18 302, at 6


Nader 1/22/1 8 302 at 5-7
'033 12/8/16 Text Messages, Dmitriev to Nader (I 21.10:31 a.m.); Nader I/22/1 8 302, at 11.

12/8/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (12:10:31 a.m.),' l2/8/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to
Nader ft2:10.57 a.m,),
"' Prince 4/4/18 302, at,8.
'" ' Prince 5/3/1 8 302, at 3,'
1030

1033

1039

151
U.S. Deparlment of Justice

Dmitriev.'c4' Nader told Dm'itriev that the people he met had asked for Dmitriev's bio, and
Dmitriev replied that he would update and send it,'c ' Nader later received from Dmitriev two
filesconce
rningDm itriev,' one was a two-page biography, and the other was a list of Dmitriev's
positive quotes about Donald Trump.'s4s

The next morning, Nader forwarded the message and attachments Dmitriev had sent him
to Prince.' Na der wmte to Prince that these documents were the versions*to' be used with some
additional details f o r t h em" ( w it h " t hem" r eferring t o m e mbers o f t h e i n coming
Administration).' ~ Prince opened the attachments at Trump Tower within an hour of receiving
them,' 4 Prince stated that, while he was at Trump Tower that day, he spoke. with Kellyanne
Conway, Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuchin, and others while waiting to see 8'annon, ~ C ell-site
location data for Prince's mobile phone indicates that Prince remained at Trump Tower for
approximately three hours.'~i Prince said that he could not recall whether durin t hose three
hours he met with Barmen and discussed Dmitriev with him.'s4

Prince booked a ticket to the Seychelles on January 7, 2017.' s The following day, Nader
wrote to Dmitriev that he had a "pleasant, surprise" for him, namely that he had armnged for
Dmitriev to meet "a Special 6uest" from "the New Team," referring to Prince.' ' Nader asked
Dmitriev if he could come to the Seychelles for the meeting on January 12, 2017, and Dmitriev
a~ ed 1052

The following day, Dmitriev sou ht assurance from Nader that the Seychelles meeting
would be worthwhiLe. Dmitriev w'as not enthusiastic about the idea of
meeting with Prince, and that Nader assure i m that Prince wielded infiucnce with the incoming

'" ' 1/4/17 Text Message, Nader to Prince 1/4/17 Text Messa es, Nader to Dmitriev (524 a.m.-
5:26 a.m.); Nader '1/22/1 8 302, at 8-9;
' ' 1/4/17 Text Messages, NaderEr,Dmitriev (7:24:27 a,m.).
' is 1/4/17 Text Messages, Dmitriev to Nader (7:75-7:29 a.m.)
1/4/17 Text Messages, Nader to Prince.
1/4!17 Text Messages, Nader' to Prince;
"" Prince5/3/18 302, at1-3.
""Prince5/3/18302, at2-3.
'~ Cell-site location data for Prince's mobile phone
" ' Prince 5/3/18 302, at 3.
1049

'"' 1/5/1 7 Email, Kasbo to. Prince.


'on 1/8/17 Text Messages, Nader to Dmitriev (6:05-6:10 p.m.).
"'i 1/8/17 Text Messages, Nader k, Dmitriev (6:10 — 7:27 p,m.).
'" ' 1/9/1 7 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

Administration,' 4 Nader wrote to Dmitriev, "This guy [Prince] is designated by Steve [Bannon]
to meet you! I know him snd he is very very well connected and trusted by the New Team. His
sister is now a Ministei of Education."' ss According to Nader, Prince had led him to believe that
Bannon was aware of Prince' s upcoming meeting with Dmitriev, and Prince acknowledged that it
was fair for Nader to think that Prince would pass information on to the Transition Team.' s
Barmen, however, told the Office that Prince did not tell him in advance about his meeting
with Dmitriev '0'2

it. The Seychelles Meetings

Dmitriev arrived with his wife in the Seychelles on January 11, 2017, and checked into the
Four Seasons Resort where Crown Prince Mohammed and Nader were staying.' s Prince amved
that same day.'" P r ince and Dmitriev met for the first time that afternoon in Nader's villa, with
Nader present,' 0 The initial meeting lasted approximately 30-45 minutes.' 0'

Prince escribed the eight


years of the O ama Admmistration m negative terms, and stated that he was looking forward to a
new era of cooperation and conflict resolution.' ss According to Prince, he told Dmin'iev that
Bannon was effective if not conventional, and that Prince provided policy papers to Bannon.' +

>004

1/9/17 Text Message, Nader to Dmitriev (2:12:56 p,m.); Nader 1/19/18 302, at 13; ~

"'4 Nader 1/19/18 302, at 13; Prince 5/3/18 30'2, at 3.


"'0 Barman 2/14/18 302, at 25-26.
" ' 1/10/17 Text Messages„Dmitriev 80 Nader (2:05:54 —3;30:25 P.m.); 1/11/17 Text Messages,
Dmitriev /b Nader (2:16'016—5:17:59 p.m.).
aa0 1/7/I 7 Email, Kasbo to prmce.
'0'0 1/11/17 Text Messages, Nader 80 Dmiti'iev (5:18:24 — 5:37:14 p,m.); I ~ I~
" ' Prince 5/3/18 302, at 4;
1002

1003

Prince5/3/18 302, at4.


1040

153
U.S. Department, of Justice
//

1066

topic of Russian interference m the 2016 election did not come up,

Prince a ded t t e wo u m f orm Bannon about his meeting with Dmitricv, an that if there was
interest in continuin the discussion, Bannon or someone else on the Transition Team would do
so 107i

Afterwards„Prince returned to his room, where he learned that a Russian aircraft carrier
had sailed to Libya, which led him to call Nader and ask him to set up another meeting with
Dmitriev." A c c ording to Nader, Prince called and said hc had checked with his associates back
home and needed to convey to Dmitriev that Libya was "off the table." 0 Nader wrote to
Dmitriev that Prince had "received an urgent message that he needs to convey to you immediately,"
and arranged for himself, Dmitriev, and Prince to meet at a restaurant on the Four Seasons
property.

At the second meeting, Prince told Dmitricv that the United Slates could not acce t an
Russian involvement in Lib a because it would make the situation there much worse.'

md

1068

'"' Prince 5/3/18 302,at4-5.


1'070

' Prince 5/3/18 302, at,4;


1072

Prince 4/4/1 8 302, at 10; Prince 5/3/18 302, at 4;


'0 " Nader 1/22/18 302, at 14;
1071
1/1 1/I 7 Text Messages, Dmitriev dt Nader (9:13:54-
10:24125 p.m.).
11176

Prince,
however, denied that and rec e t a t e was m n g these remarks to Dmitriev not in ari o ial capacity
for the transition but based on his experience as a former naval officer. Prince 5/3/18 302, at 4.
U,S. Department of Justice

1077

Atter the brief second meeting concluded, Nader and Dmitriev discussed what had
transpired.' ' Dmitriev told Nader that he wss disappointed in his meetings with Prince for two
reasons: first, he believed the Russians needed to be communicating with someone who had more
authority within the incoming Administmtion than Prince had.' ss Second, he had hoped to have
a discussion of greater substance, such as outlinin a strata ic roadmap for both oountries to
follow.' 0 D mitriev told Nader that Prince's comments ~
were insulting

Hours after the second meeting, Prince sent two text messages to Bannon from the
Seychelles.' t As described further below, investigators were unable to obtain the content of these
or other messages between Prince and Bannon, and the investigation also did not identify evidence
of any further communication between Prince and Dmitriev after their meetings in the Seychelles.

iii. Erik Prince 's Meeting with Steve Jlannon after the Seychelles Trip

After the Seychelles meetings, Pdnce told Nader that he would inform Bannon about his
discussion with Dmitriev and would convey that someone within the Russian power structure was
interested in seeking better relations with the incoming Administration.icss On January 12, 2017,
Prince contacted Bannon's personal assistant to set up a meeting for the following week.' '
Several days later, Prince messaged her again asking about Bannon's schedule.icss

Prince said that he met Barmen at Bannon's home after returning to the United States in
mid-January and briefed him about several topics, including his meeting with Dmitriev.' ' P r ince
told the, Office that he explained to Bannon that Dmitriev was the head of a Russian sovereign
wealth fund and was interested in improving relations between the United States and Russia.' '
Prince had on his cellphone a screenshot of Dmitriev's Vikipedia page dated January 16, 2017,

107'/

'" ' N ader I/22/18 302, at 15;

Nader 1/22/18 302, at 9, 15;

' 00 Nader 1/22/18 302., at 15.


1081 Nader 1/22/18 302, at 15.
'"' Call Records of Erik Prince
"' Prince 4/4/18 302, at 10; Prince 5/3/18 302, at 4;
'00 1/12/17 Text Messages, Prince to Preate.
10~ 1/1 5/17 Text Message, Prince to Preate.
1000Prince 4/4/1 8 302, at 11; Prince 5/3/1 8 302, at 5.

'" ' Prince 4/4/18 302, at 11; Prince 5/3/18 302, at 5.

155
U.S. Department of Justice

and Prince told the Office that he likely showed that image to Barmen.'ms Prince also believed he
provided Bannon with Dmitriev's contact information.' s According to Prince, Bannon instructed
Prince not to follow up with Dmitriev, and Prince had the impi'ession that the issue was not a
priority for Bannon.' s Pr i nce related that Bannon did not appear angry, just relatively
uninterested.

Bannon, by contrast, told the Office that he never discussed with Prince anything regarding
Dmitriev, RDIF, or any meetings with Russian individuals or people associated with Putin.' m
Bannon also stated that had Prince mentioned such a meeting, Bannon would have remembered it,
and Barmen would have objected to such a meeting having taken place.'cm

The conflicting accounts provided by Bannon and Prince could not be independently
clarified by reviewing their communications, because neither one was able to produce any of the
messages they exchanged in the time period surrounding the Seychelles meeting. Prince's phone
contained no text messages prior to March 2017, though provider records indicate that he and
Bannon exchanged dozens of messages.' s Prince denied deleting any messages but claimed he
did not know why there were no messages on his device before March 2017,' s Bannon's devices
similarly contained no messages in the relevant time period, and Bannon also stated he did not
know why messages did not appear on his device.' s Bannon told the Office that, during both the
months before and after the Seychelles meeting, he regularly used his personal Blackberry and
personal email for work-related communications (including those with Prince), and he took no
steps to preserve these work communications.' '

d R i rill Dntftriev's Post-Election Contoct wit/i Riclr Gerson Regarding US;


Russia Relotions

Dmitriev's contacts during the transition period were not limited to those facilitated by
Nader, In approximateiy late November 2016, the UAE national security advisor introduced
Dmitriev to Rick Gerson, a friend of Jared Kushner who runs a hedge fund in New York.' as
Gerson stated he had no formal role in the transition and had no mvolvement in the Trump

'" ' Prince 5/3/18 302, «t 5; I/1 6/17 Image on Prince Phone (on fil'e with the Office).
' ' Prince 5/3/18 302, at 5.

Prince 5/3/18 302, at 5.


'"' Prince 5/3/18 302, at 5.
Barmen 10/26/18 302, at 10-11.
' Barmen 10/26/18 302, at 10-11.
' ' C all Records of Erik Prince
'"' Prince 4/4/I 8 302, at 6,
Bannon 10/26/18 302, at 11; Barmen 2/14/18 302, at 36.
' s Bannon 10/26/18 302, at 11,
"s' Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 1, 3; 11/26/16 Text Message, Dmitriev to Gerson; 1/25/17 Text Message,
Dmitriev to Nader.

156
U.S. Department of Justice

Campaign other than occasional casual discussions about the Campaign with Kushner,' ss After
the. election, Gerson assisted the transition by arranging meetings f'o r transition officials with
former UK prime minister Tony Blair and a UAE delegation led by Crown Prince Mohammed. nc

When IJmitriev and Gerson met, they principally discussed potential joint ventures
between Gerson's hedge fund and RDIF."m D m itriev was interested in improved economic
cooperation between the United States and Russia and asked Gerson who he should meet with in
the incoming Administration who would be helpful towards this goal."m Gerson replied that he
would try to figure out the best way to arrange appropriate introductions, but noted that
confidentiality would be required because of the sensitivity of holding such meetings before the
new Administration took power, and before Cabinet nominees had been confirmed by the
Senate." s Gerson said he would ask Kushner and Michael Flynn who the "key person or people"
were on the topics of reconciliation with Russia, joint security concerns, and economic matters."

Dmitriev told Gerson that he had been tasked by Putin to develop and execute a
reconciliation plan between the United States and Russia. He noted in a text message to Gerson
that if Russia was approached with respect and willingness to understand our position, we can
have Major Breakthroughs quickly.'0'c' Gerson and Dmitriev exchanged ideas in Decemb'er 2016
about what such a reconciliation plan would include." s Gerson told the Office that the Transition
Team had not asked him to engage in these discussions with Dmitriev, and that he did so on his
own initiative and as a private citizen." 7

On January 9, 2017, the same day he asked Nader whether meeting Prince would be
worthwhile, Dmitriev sent his biography to Gerson and asked him if he could "share it with Jared
(or somebody else very senior in the team) —so that they know that we are focused from our side
on improving the relationship and my boss asked me to play a key role in that"" s Dminiev also
asked Gerson if he knew Prince, and if Prince was somebody important or worth spending time

Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 1.


uoa Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 1-2; Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 21.
'" ' Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 3-4; see, s.g., 12/2/16 Text Messages, Dmitriev /k Gerson," 12/14/16 Text
Messages, Dmitriev 8i Gerson; 1/3/17 Text Message, Gerson to Diiit rie; 12/2/16 Email„Tolokonnikov to
Gerson.
Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 3; 12/14/16 Text Message, Dmin'iev to Gerson.
12/14/16 Text Message, Gerson to Dnutnev.
12/1 4/1 6 Text Message, Gerson to Dmitriev.
"s' 12/14/1 6 Text Messages, Dmitriev 6'i Gerson; Gerson 6/15/18 302, at 1.
"" 12/14/16 Text Messages, Dmitriev /Z Gerson.
'" i Gerson 6/15/1 8 302, at 1,
'" ' 1/9/17 Text Messages, Dmitriev to Gerson; 1/9/17 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader.

157
U.S. Department of Justice

with.' s A l ler his trip to the Seychelles, Dmitriev told Gerson that Bannon had asked Prmce to
meet with Dmitriev and that the two had had a positive meeting.""

On January 16, 2017, Dmitriev consolidated the ideas for U.S,-Russia reconciliation that
h e and Gerson had been discussing into a two-page document that listed five main points; ( 1)
jointly fighting terrorism; (2) jointly engaging in anti-weapons of mass destruction efforts; (3)
developing "win-win" economic and investment initiatives; (4) maintaining an honest, open, and
continual dialogue regarding issues of disagreement; and (5) ensuring proper communication and
trust by "key people" fmm each country."" O n January 18, 2017, Gerson gave a copy of the
document to Kushner.'" K u shner had not heard of Dmitriev at that time."' G erson explained
that Dmitriev was the head of RDIF, and Gerson may have alluded to Dmitriev's being well
connected.nis K ushner placed the document in a file and said he would get it to the right
people." K us hner ultimately gave one copy of the document to Barmen and another to Rex
Tillerson; according to Kushner, neither of them followed up with Kushner about it." ' On
January 19, 2017, Dmitriev sent Nader a copy of the two-page document, telling him that this was
"a view from our side that I discussed in my meeting on the islands, and with you and with our
friends. Please share with them- we believe this is a good foundation to start Irom. 0"

Gerson informed Dmitriev that he had given the docmnent to Kushner soon after deliver'ing
it." " O n January 26, 2017, Dmitriev wrote to Gerson that his "boss" — an apparent reference to
Putin — was asking if there had been any feedback on the proposal.n's Dmitriev said, "[w]e do
not want to rush things and move at a comfortable speed. At the same time, my boss asked me to
try to have the key US meetings in the next tvvo weeks if possible.'0's' He informed Gerson that
Putin and President Trump would speak by phone that Saturday, and noted that that information
was ' very confidentia1.»1 nl

The same day, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that be had seen his "boss" again yesterday who
had "emphasized that this is a great priority for us and that we need to build this communication

"m Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 4.


"" I / 18/17 Text Messages, Dmitriev 8r. Gerson.
'" ' I / 16/17 Text Messages, Dmitriev k. Gerson.
'" G ersqn 6/5/18 302, at 31 Gerson 6/15/18 302, at 2,
un Gerson 6/5/I 8 302, at 3
'"" Gerson 6/5/18 302, at 3; Gerson 6/15/18.302, at 1-2; Kusbner 4/11/18 302, at 22.
"" Gerson 6/5/I 8 302, at 3.
" 's Kusbner 4/11/I 8 302, at 32,

I/19/17 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (11:11:56 a.m.).


"" I / 18/I 7 Text Message, Gerson to Dmitrlev; Gerson 6/15/I 8 302, at 2,

I/26/17 Text Message, Dmitdev to Gerson.


" ' I/26/I 7 Text Message„Dmitriev to Gerson.
" ' I/26/I 7 Text Message, Dm'itriev to Gerson.

158
U.S. Department of Justice

channel to avoid buteaucracy.""s O n January 28, 2017, Dmiti'iev texted Nader that he wanted
"to see if I can confirm to my boss that your friends may use some of the ideas fmm the 2 pager I
sent you in the telephone, call that will happen at 12 EST, ni~ an apparent reference to the call
scheduled between President Trump and Putin. Nader replied, "Definitely paper was so submitted
to Team by Rick and me, They took it seriously! 'ui+ Afier the call between President Trump and
Putin occurred, Dmitriev wrote to Nader that "the call went very well. M y boss wants me to
continue making some public statements that us [sic] Russia cooperation is good and
important.*" Gerson also wrote to Dmitriev to say that the call had gone well, and Dmitriev
i'eplied that the document they had draited together "played an important role Juis

Gerson and Dmitriev appeared to stop communicating with one another in approximately
March 2017, when the investment deal they had been working on together shmved no signs of
progressing." 7

3, Ambassador Kisl 's Meetin w i t h Jared Kushner and Michael Fl nn in


Trum Tower Folio in the Election

On November 16, 2016, Catherine Vargas, an executive assistant to Kushner, received a


request for a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak," ' T hat same day, Vargas sent
Kushner an email with the subject, "MISSED CALL: Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey
Ivanovich Kislyak, . . . " " ss The text of the email read, '"RE: setting up a time to meet w/you on
12/1. LMK how to proceed." Kushner responded in relevant part, "I think I do this one — confirm
with Dimitri [Simes of CNI] that this is the right guy."" s A f ter reaching out to a colleague of
Simes at CNI, Vargas reported back to Kushner that Kislyak was "the best go-to guy for routine
matters in the US," while Yuri Ushakov, a Russian foreign policy advisor, was the contact for
"more direct/substantial matters.""~'

Bob Foresman, the UBS investment bank executive who had previously tried to !ransmit
to candidate Trump an invitation to speak at an economic forum in Russia, see Volume I, Section
I V.A.l.d.ii, supra, may have provided similar information to the Transition Team. Accord~ t o

" t I/26/17 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (,10:04:,41 p.mt),


" ' 1/28/17 Text Message, Dmitriev to Nader (11:05:39 a.m.).
nit 1/28/1 7 Text Message, Nader to Dmitriev (11:11:33 a.m.).
usi 1/29/17 Text Message, Dmiir'iev to Nader (11:06:35 a.m.).

1/28/17 Text Message, Gerson to Dmitriev; U29/17 Text Message, Dmitiiev to Gersnn.
nit Gerson 6/15/1 8 302, at 4; 3/21/17 Text Message, Geison to Dminiev.

Statement of Jarsd. C Eus/incr to Congressional Cotttwittees("Kushner Stmt."), at 6 (7/24/17)


(written statement by Kushner to tbe Senate Judiciary Committee).
"" NOSC00004356 (11/16/16 Email, Vargas to Kushner {6:44 p.m.)).
'" NOSC00004356 (11/16/16 Email, Kushner to Vargss (9;54 P.m,)).
'" ' l l/17/16 Email, Brown to Simes (10:41 a,m.); Brown 10/13/17 302, at 4; 11/17/16 Email,
Vargss to Kushner {12:31:18}.
U.S, Department of Justice
//

F oresman, at thc end of an early December 2016 meeting with incoming National Security Advisor
Michael Flynn and his designated deputy (K.T. McFarland) in New York, Flynn asked Foresman
for his thoughts on Kislyak. Foresman had not met Kislyak but told Flynn that, while, Kislyak was
an important person, Kislyak did not have a direct line to putin."'x F oresman subsequently
traveled to Moscow„ inquired of a source he believed to be close to Putin, and heard back from
that source that Ushakov would be the official channel for the incoming U.S. national security
advisor."s F oresman acknowledged that Flynn had not asked him to undertake that inquiry in
Russia but told the Deice that he nonetheless felt obligated to report the information back to Flynn,
and that he worked to get a face-to-face meeting with Flynn in January 2017 so that he oould do
so,"s» Email correspondence suggests that the meeting ultimately went forward,'"' but Flynn has
no recollection of it or of the earlier December meeting." (T h e investigation did not identify
evidence of Flynn or Kushner meeting with Ushakov after being given his name."s )

In the meantime, although he had already foxxned the impression that Kislyak was not
necessarily the right point of contact," s Kushner went forward with the meeting that Kislyak had
r equested on November 16. I t took place at Trump Tower on November 30, 2016,0's A t
Kushner's invitation, Flynn also attended; Bannon was invited but did not attend." c During the
meeting, which lasted approximately 30 minutes, Kushner expressed a desire on the part of the
incoming Administtation to start afresh with U.S.-Russian relations." ' K u shner also asked
Kislyak to identify the best person (whether Kislyak or someone else) with whom to direct future
discussions — someone who had contaot with Putin and the ability to speak for him,"4x

The three mcn also discussed U.S. policy toward Syria, and Kislyak floated the idea of
having Russian generals brief the Transition Team on the topic using a secure communications
line. ' s A f ter Flynn explained that there was no secure line in the Transition Team offices,

'"s Foresman 10/17/18 302, at 17.


'" F oresman 10/17/18 302, at 17-18.
" i Foresman 10/I 7/18 302, at 18.
"" RMF-SCO-00000015 (I/5/17 Email, Foresmau to Atencio dL Flaherty); RMF-SCO-00000015
(I/5/17 Email, Flaherty to Foresman yc Atencio).
9/26/18 Attorney Proffer from Covmgton 8c Bmling LLP (xeflected in email on file with the
Office).
" ' Vargas 4/4/18 302, at 5.
" ' Kushner 11/1/17 302, at 4.
'"" AKIN OUMP BERKOWITZ 000001 6-019 (11/29/16 Email, Vargas to Kuznetsov).
Flynn I/11/I 8 302, at 2; NOS00004240 (Calendar Invite, Verges to Kushner 6t Flynn).
Kushnei Stmt. at 6.
Kushner Stmt. at 6; Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 18.
Kushner Stmt. at 7; Kushner 4/11/18 302„at 18; Flynn I/11/I 8 302, at 2.

160
U.S, Department of Justice
//

Kushner asked Kislyak if t hey could communicate using secure facilities at the Russian
Embassy t t44 Kislyak quickly rejected 'that idea» ss

4. Jared Kushner's Meetin with Ser e G or ov

On December 6, 2016„ the Russian Embassy reached out to Kushner's assistant to set up a
second meeting between Kislyak and Kushner.» e Kushner declined several proposed meeting
dates, but Kushner's assistant indicated that Kislyak was very insistent about securing a second
meeting. '" K ushner told the Office that he did not want to take another meeting because he had
already decided Kislyak was not the right channel for him to communicate with Russia, so he
arranged to have one of his assistants, Avi Berkowitz, meet with Kislyak in his stead,»4s Although
D
embassy official Sergey Kuzuetsov wrote to Berkowitz that Kislyak thought it "important to
"continue the conversation with Mr. Kushner in person,'u'4v Kislyak nonetheless agreed to meet
instead with Berkowitz once it berame apparent that Kushner was unlikely to take a meeting.

Berkowitz met with Kislyak on December 12, 2016, at Trump Tower." o The meeting
lasted only a few minutes, during which Kislyak indicated that he wanted Kushner to meet
someone who had a direct line to Putin: Scrgey Gorkov, the head of the Russian-government-
owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB).

Kushner agreed to meet with Gorkov.' ' T he one-on-one meeting took place the next day,
December 13, 2016, at the Colony Capital building in Manhattan, where Kushner had previously
scheduled meetings." s V E B was (and is) the subject of Department of Treasury economic
sanctions imposed in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.»ss Kushner did not, however,
recall any discussion during his meeting with Gorkov about the sanctions against VEB or sanctions
more generally."+ K ushner stated in an interview that he did not engage in any preparation for

Kuslmer 4/11/18 3020 at 18.


""' Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 18.
»4' Kushner Stmt. at 7; NOSC00000123 (12/6/16 Email, Vargas to Kushner (12:11:40 p.m.)').
Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 19; NOSC00000130 (12/12/16 Email, Kuslmer to Verges (10:41
p m)).
"'K I 4/ll /10 302 t 19 ; K I S t t. t 7; D JTPP SCD 01442290 /12/6/IS E
Berkowitz to
D JTPP SCD 1114422911
JIT/7/ISE it~ a t III 1 0 / 1 2 3109 9. .7),
'" ' B erkowitz 1/12/18 302, at 7; A K I N GUMP BERKOWITZ 000001-04 (12/12/16 Text
Messages, Berkowitz k, 202-701-8532).
"" Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 19', NOSC00000130-135 (12/1 2/1 6 Email, Kushner to Berkowitz),
'ns Kushner 4/11/I 8 302, at 19; NOSC00000130-135 (12/1 2/1 6Email, Kusbner to Berkowitz).
Announcement of Treasury Sanctions on Entities Within the Etnancial Services and Energy
Sectors of Russia, Against Arms or Related Materiel Entities, and: those Undermining U/sratne's
Sovereignty, United States Department of the Treasury (Jul. 16, 2014),
»S Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 2'0.

161
U.S. Department of Justice

the meeting and that n o one on the Transition Team even did a G oogle search for
Gorkov's name "ss

At the start of the meeting, Gorkov presented Kushner with two gifts: a painting and a bag
of soil from the town in Belarus where Kushner's family originated."

The accounts from Kuslmer and Gorkov differ as to whe'ther the meeting was diplomatic
or business in nature. Kushner told the Office that the meeting was diplomatic, with Gorkov
expressing disappointment with U.S.-Russia relations under President Obama and hopes for
improved relations with the incoming Administration. us7 According to Kushner, although Gorkov
told Kushner a little bit about his bank and made some statements about the Russian economy, the
two did not discuss Kushner's companies or private business dealings of any kind." s (At the time
of the meeting, Kushner Companies had a debt obligation coming due on the building it owned at
666 Fifth Avenue, and there had been public reporting both about efforts to secure lending on the
property and possible conflicts of interest for Kushner arising out of his company's borrowing
from foreign landers,"'s)

In contrast, in a 2017 public statement, VEB suggested Gorkov met with Kushner in
Kushner's capacity as CEO of Kushner Companies for the pmpose of discussing business, rather
than as part of a diplomatic effort. I n particular, VEB characterized Gorkov's meeting with
Kushner as part of aseries of "roadshow meetings" with "representatives of major US banks and
business circles," which included "negotiations*' snd discussion of the "most promising business
lines and sectors.""

Foresman, the investment bank executive mentioned in Volume I, Sections IV,A.I and
IV.B.3, supra, told the Office that he met with Gorkov and VEB deputy chairman Nikolay
Tsekhomsky in Moscow just before Gorkov left for New York to meet Kushner 0 s' According to
F oresman, Gorkov and Tsekhomsky told him that they were traveling to New York to discuss post-
election issues with U S, financial institutions, that their trip was sanctioned by Putin, and that they
would be reporting back to Putm upon their return.'"

Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 19. Berkowitz, by contrast, stated to the Office that be had googled
Gorkov's name and told Kusbner that Gorkov apyeared tc be a banker. Berkcwitz 1/1 2/1 8302, at 8,
"" Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 19-20.
'"s Kushner Stmt. at 8.
' ' K.ushner Stmt. at 8.
"" Se ct e g.> Peter Grant Donald Trump Son-in Law Jared Kushner Could Face Hts Own Conflict-
of Interest Questions, Wall Street Jour'nal fNov. 29, 2016),
'" Patrick Reevell tie Matthew Mosk, Russian Banker Sergey Gorhov Brushes oP Questions About
Me'sting with Jared Kushner, ABC News lJune 1, 2017).
F oresman 10fl7/1 8 302 at 14 15
'" F oresman 10/17/18 302, at 15-16.
U.S. Depar!ment of Justice
ll

The investigation did not resolve the. apparent conflict in the accounts of Kushner and
Gorkov or determine whether the meeting was diplomatic in nature (as Kushner stated), focused
on business (as VEB's public statement indicated), or whether it involved some combination of
those matters or other matters. Regardless, the investigation did not identdy evidence that Kushner
and Gorkov engaged in any substantive follow-up after the meeting.

Rather, a few days after the meeting, Gorkov's assistant texted Kushner's assistant, "Hi,
please inform your side that the information about the meeting had a very positive response!" '6s
Over the following weeks, the two assistants exchanged a handful of additional cordial texts.
On February 8, 2017, Gorkov's assistant texted Kushner's assistant (Berkowitz) to try to set up
another meeting, and followed up by text at least twice in the days that followed.n66 According
to Berkowitz, he did not respond to the meeting request in light of the press coverage regarding
the Russia investigation, and did not tell Kushner about the meeting request." 6

5. Petr Aven's Outreach Efforts to the Transition Team

In December 2016, weeks after the one-on-one meeting with Putin described in Volume I,
Section IV.B.l.b, supra, Petr Aven attended what he described as a separate "all-hands" oligarch
meeting between Putin and Russia's most prominent businessmen." As i n Avon's one-on-one
meeting, a main topic of discussion at the oligarch meeting in December 2016 was the prospect of
forthcoming U.S, economic sanctions."60

After the December 2016 all-hands meeting, Aven tried to establish a connection to the
Trump team. A v en instructed Richard Burt to make contact with the incoming Trump
Administration. Burt was on the board of directors for LetterOne (L I), another company headed
by, Avon„and had done work for Alfa-Bank."6 B urt had previously served as U.S. ambassador
to Germany and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, and one of his
primary roles with Alfa-Bank and Ll was to facilitate introductions to business contacts in the
United States and other Western countries." 0

While at a LI board meeting held in Luxembourg in late December 2016, Avenpulled Burt
aside and told him that he had spoken to someone high in the Russian government who expressed

u60 AKIN GUMP BERKOWITZ 0000011 (12/19/16 Text Message, Ivsnchenko to Berkowitz
(9:56 a.m„)).
n+ AKIN GUMP BERKOWITZ 0000011-15 (12/1'9/16 — 2/16/17 Text Messages, Ivanchenkc
k Berkowitz).
"" A K I N G UMP BERXOWITZ 0000015 (2/8/17 Text Message, Ivsnchenko to Berkowitz
(10;41 a,m.)).
u66 Berkowitz 3/22/18 302, at 4-5.
" 0 Aven 8/2I18 302, at 7;,
1160

1160 Aven 8/2/18 302, at 6.


n00 Aven 8/2/18 302, at 6; Burt 2/9/18 302, at 2.

163.
U,S. Department of Justice
//

interest in establishing a communications channel between the Kremlin and the Trump Transition
Team." ' Aven asked for Burt's help in contacting members of the Tmnsition Team." A l t hough
Bmt had been responsible for helping Aven build connections in the past, Burt viewed Aven *s
request as unusual and outside the normal realm of his dealings with Aven."

Burt, who is a member of the board of CNI (discussed at Volume I, Section IV.A.4,
supru),n i decided to approach CNI president Dimitri Simes for help facilitating Aven's request„
recalling that Simes had some relationship with Kushner." ' A t the time, Simes was lobbying the
Trump Transition Team, on Burt's behalf, to appoint Burt U.S. ambassador to Russia.'

Burt contacted Simes by telephone and asked if he could arrange a meeting with Kushner
to discuss setting up a high-level communications channel between Putin and the incoming
Administration." Si mes told the Office that he. declined'and stated to Burt that setting up such
a channel was not a good idea in light of the media attention surrounding Russian influence in the
U.S. presidential election."7' According to Simes„he understood that Burt was seeking a secret
channel, and Simes did not want CNI to be seen as an intermediary between the Russian
government and the incoming Adminishation," s Based on what Simes had read in the media, he
stated that he already had concerns that Trump"s business connections could be exploited by
Russia, and Simes said that he did no't want CNI to have any involvement or apparent involvement
in facilitating any connection."

In an email dated December 22, 2016, Burt recounted for Aven his conversation with
Simes:

Through a trusted third party, I have reached out to the very influential person I mentioned
in Luxembourg conc
erning
Project A. There is an interest and an understanding for the
need to establish such a channel. But the individual emphasized that at this moment, with
so much intense interest in the Congress and the media over the question of cyber-hacking
(and who ordered what), Project A was too explosive to discuss. The individual agreed to
discuss it again after the New Year. I trust the individual's instincts on this.

" ' B urt2/9/18302, at2;


11Zr

""' Burt'/9/18 302, at 4.


ui Burt 2/9/18 302, at 5.
nri Burt 2/9/18 302, at 3.
'n' Burt 2/9/18 302„at 3.

Burt 2/9/1 8 302„at 3; Simes 3/27/18 302, at 4.


ui 13urt2/9/18 302, at 3; Simes 3/27/18 302, at 4.

Simes 3/27/18 302, at 5.


"" Simes 3/27/18 302, at 5.
U,S, Department of Justice
//

If this is unclear or you would like to discuss, don't hesitate to call."s'

According to Burt, the "very influential person" referenced in his email was Simes, and the
reference to a "trusted third party" was a fabrication, as no such third party existed. "Project A"
was a term that Burt created for Aven's effort to help establish a communications channel between
Russia and the Trump team„which he used in light of the sensitivities surrounding what Aven was
requesting, especially in light of the recent attention to Russia' s influence in the U, S. presidential
election."B According to Burt, his report that there was "interesf' in a communications channel
reflected Simes's views, not necessarily those of the Transl'tion Team, and in any event, Burt
acknowledged that he added some "hype" tc' that sentence to make it sound like there was more
interest from the Transition Team than may have actually existed."+

Aven replied to Burt's email on the same day> saying "Thank you. A l l clear."' ~
According to Aven, this statement indicated that he did not want the outreach to continue."" B urt
spoke to Aven some time thereafter about his attempt to make contact with the Trum team
ex lamin to Aven that the current environment made it impossible,
.' "9 Burt did not recall discussing Avon's request with Sunes again, nor dtd
e recal spe i ng to anyone else about the request."

In the first quarter of 2017, Aven met again with Putin and other Russian officials." B At
that meeting, Putin asked about Aven's attem t to build relations with the Trum Administration
and Aven recounted his lack of success.'"9
Putin continued to inquire about Aven's e orts to connect to the Trump
Administration in several subsequent quarterly meetings." t

Aven also told Putin's chief of staff that he had been subpoenaed by the FBI."9 A s part
of that conversation, he, reported that he had been asked by the FBI about whether he had worked
to create a back channel between the Russian government and the Trump Administration." 9

'"' l2/22/16 Email, Burt to Aven (7:23 p.m.).


'199 Burt 2/9/18 302, at 3.
'"' Burt 2/9/18 302, at 3-4,

12/22/16 Email, Aven to Burt (4:58:22 p.m.),


"" Aven 8/2/18 302, at 7.
nBB

"" Burt 2/9/18 302, at 3-4.


11BB

nB9 Aven 8/2/I 8 302, at 7,


n90

1191

Aven 8/2/18 302,.at 8.


" ' Aven 8/2/18 302, at8;
U.S, Department of Justice
//

According to Avon, the official showed no emotion in response to this report and did not appear
to care "~

6. Carter Pa e Contact with De u P r i me Minister Ar a D or k o vich

In December 2016, more than two months after he was removed from the Trump
Gainpaign, former Campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Pa e a ain visited Moscow in an
attem t to ursue business o ortunities."9

According to Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort's


associate, Page also gave some mdividuals in Russia the impression that he had maintained his
connections to President-Elect Trump. I n a December 8, 2016 email intended for Manafort,
Kilimnik wrote, "Carter Page is in Moscow today, sending messages he is authorized to talk to
Russia on behalf of DT on a range of issues of mutual interest, including Ukraine.""9

On December 9, 2016, Page went to dinner with NES employees Shlomo Weber and
Andrej Krickovic." We ber had contacted Dvorkovich to let him know that Page was in town
and to invite him to stop by the dinner if he wished to do so, and Dvorkovich came to the restaurant
1' or a few minutes to meet with Page."9 Dvorkovich congratulated Page on Trumlr's election and
expressed interest in starting a dialogue between the United States and Russia.' 9 D vorkovich
asked Page if he could facilitate connecting Dvorkovich with individuals involved in the transition
to be in a discussion of future coo oration.'

"" A ven 8/2/18 302, at 8;


"" Page 3/10/17 302, at 4; Page 3/16/17 302, at 3; Among
other meetings, Page contacted Andrey Baranov, head of initiator relations at Rosne, an the discuss'ed
the sale of Rosnett and meetings Baranov had attended with Rosneft CEO Igor Seehin.

1196

1197

u92 Page 3/16/17 302, at 3„' Page 3/30/17 302, at 8.


" ' Weber 7/28/1 7 302, at 4; Page 3/I 6/I 7 302, at 3;
'2' Page 3/I 6/1 7 302, at 3;
rrar Page 3/16/1 7 302, a» 3;
1202

1293
U,S. Deparlment of Justice

Dvorkovich se aratel discussed worldn to ether in the future


f ormin an aca emir artnershi ,' 2

7. Contacts With and Thmu h Michael T, Fl nn

Incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was the Transition Team's primary
conduit for communications with the Russian Ambassador and dealt with Russia on two sensitive
matters during the transition period: a United Nations Security Council vote and the Russian
governm
ent' s reaction to the United States's imposition of sanctions for Russian interference in
the 2016 election.'2 2 Despite Kushner's conclusion that Kislyak did not wield influence inside
the Russian gavernment, the Transition Team tumed to Flynn's relationship with Kislyak on
both issues. As to'the sanctions, Flynn spake by phone to K.T, McFarland, his incoming deputy,
to prepare for his call ta Kislyak; McFarland was with the President-Elect and other senior
members af the Transition Team at Mar-a-Laga at the time. Although ttansition officials at Mar-
s-Lago had some concern about possible Russian reactions to the sanctions, the investigation did
not identify evidence that the President-Elect asked Flynn to make any request to Kislyak. Flynn
asked Kislyak not ta escalate the situation in response to U.S. sanctions imposed on December 29,
2016, and Kislyak later reported to Flynn that Russia acceded to that request,

a. United Nations Vote «n Israeli Settietnents

On December 21, 2016, Egypt submitted a resolution ta the United Nations Security
Council calling on Israel to cease settlement activities in Palestinian territory.' The Security
Council, which includes Russia, was scheduled to vote on the resolution the following day.'
There was speculation in the media that the Obama Administration would not oppose the
resolution.'2'e

1205

12SS

'2' As discussed further in Volume I, Section V.C.4,inPa, Flynn pleaded guilty ta making false
statements to the FBI, in violation of 18 U.S,C. 5 1001, about these cammunications with Ambassador
Kislyak. Plea Agteement, United Statesv Michael T Flynn, No. I;17er2 32 (DDC . Dec. I, 2017), Doc,
3. Flynn's plea agreement requised that he cooperate with this Oflice, and the statements from Flynn in
this report reflect his cooperation over the course af multiple debrieftngs in 2017 snd 2018.
' Karen De Young, How the US. Came to Abstat'n on a UN R esottttton Condemning hraeli
Settlements, Washington Post (Dec. 28, 2016l.
' ss Katen Dc Young, How the US. Came to Abstain on a UN. Resolution Condemning Israeli
Settlements, Washington Post (Dec, 28, 20163.
' w Michelle Nichals St Lesley Wroughtan, US. Intended to Allow Passage of UM Drag Critical
of Israe/,Reuters (Dec. 21, 2016l.
U.S, Department of )ustice
//

According to Flynn, the Transition Team regarded the vote as a significant issue and
wanted to support Israel by opposing the resolution.' " On December 22, 2016, multiple members
of the Transition Team, as well as President-Elect Trump, communicated with foreign goverrunent
officials to determine their views on the resolution and to rally support to delay the vote or defeat
the resolution.' 's Kushner led the effort for the Transition Team; Flynn was responsible for the
Russian government.' " M i nutesafter an early morning phone call with Kushner on December
22, Flynn oalled Kislyak.' ' A c cording to Flynn, he informed Kislyak about the vote and the
Transition Team's opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the
resolution.'s" Later that day, president-Elect Trump spoke with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi about the vote.'s' U l timately, Egypt postponed the vote.n'

On December 23, 2016, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela resubmitted the
resolution.' " Throughout the day, members of the Transition Team continued to'talk with foreign
leaders about the resolution, with Flynn continuing to lead the outreach with the Russian
govermnent through Kfslyak.'s' W hen Flynn again spoke with Kislyak, Kislyak informed Flynn
that if the resolution came to a vote, Russia would not vote against it.'s2 The resolution later
passed 14-0, with the United States abstaming,'+~

b. US. Sanctions Against Russia

Flynn was also the Transition Team member who spoke with the Russian government when
the Obama Administration imposed sanctions and other measures against Russia in response to
Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. On December 28, 2016, then-President
Obama signed Executive Order 13757, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. the following day and

nu Flynn 11/16/1 7 302, at 12; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 2.


' ' F lynn 11/16/17 302, at 12-14; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 2.
' " Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 12-14; Flynn 11/1 7/17 302, at 2; Kushner 11/1/17 302 at 3; 12/22/16
Email, Kushner to Flymg 12/22/16 Email, McFarland to et al,
""" Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 13; Call Records of Michael T. Flynn
u's Statement of Offense $ 3(d), United States v. Micbaet T. Flynn,No. 1:17-cr-232 (D,D.C. Dec.
1, 2017), Doc. 4 ("Flynn Statement of Offense" ); Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 12-13.
' ' F lynn 11/17/17 302, at 2; Flynn 11/16/17 3'02, at 13.
"' r UII. Vote on Israeli Settlement postponed, "potentially Indef
inttdy ">Reuters(Dec.22,2016),
Somiiu Sengupta St Rick Gladstone, Rebaffing Is~as/, US. Allows Censure Over Settlements,
New York Times (Dec. 23, 2016),
' 'o Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 12-14; Kushner 11/1/17 302, at 3; 12/23/16 Email, Flynn to Kushner et
al.
u n Flynn Statement of Offense $ 3(g).
' Israel's Settlements Have No Legal Validtty, Consttntte Flagrant V'iolation of international
Law, Security Council Reaffti ms, 7853rd Meeting (PM), United Nations Security Council (Dec. 23,2016),
U.S, Department of Justice
//

imposed sanctions on nine Russian individuals and entities.'s' On December 29, 2016, the Obama
Administration also expelled 35 Russian governm
ent officials and closed two Russian
governm
ent-owned compounds in the United States, nss
During the rollout of the sanctions, President-Elect Trump snd multiple Transition Team
senior officials, including McFarland, Steve Bsnnon, and Reince Priebus, were staying at the Mar-
e-L'ago club in Palm Beach, Florida Flynn was on vacation in the Dominican Republic, sts but
was in daily contact with McFarland,'~

The Transition Team and President-Elect Trump were concerned that these sanctions
would harm the United States's relationship with Russia.'~ A l though the details and timing of
sanctions were unknown on December 28, 2016, the media began reporting that retaliatory
measures fmm the Obama Administration against Russia were forthcoming.'~' When asked about
imposing sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the 20'l6 presidential election,
President-Elect Trump told the media, "I think we ought to get on with our lives. ut

Russia initiated the outreach to the Transition Team. On the evening of December 28,
2016, Kislyak texted Flynn, "can you kindly call me back at your convenience."'its Flynn did not
respond to the text message that evening. Someone trom the Russian Embassy also called Flynn
the next morning, at 10:38 a,m„but they did not talk.'

The sanchons were announced publicly on December 29„2016.' ' At 1:53 p.m. that day,
McFarland began exchanging emails with multiple Transition Team members and advisors about
the impact the sanctions would have on the incoming Administration.'ss At 2:07 p.m., a Transition
Team member texted Flynn a link to a New York Times article about the sanctions.' A t 2 : 2 9

' ' Taking Additional Steps to Address the ¹ ti onal Emergency grtth Respect to Sign
ificant
hfahctous Cyber-Enabled Acti vi ties, The White House, Office of thePress Secretary (Dec. 29, 2016).
m' Statement by the President on Actions in Response to Russian Malicious Cyber Activity and
Harassment, The White House, (&ice of the press Secretary (Dec. 29, 2016).
'sit Flynn 11/16/1 7 302, at 14; McFarland 12/22/1 7 302, at 3-8; Barman 2/12/18 302, at 5,

' s' Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 5; Flynn 1/19/1 8 302, at 1,' McFarland 11/22/17 302, at 3-9.
' ' F l y r m l l / 17/17302,at3.

Christine Wang, US to announce new sancti ons against Russia in response to election hacking,
CNBC (Dec. 28, 2016).
Jolm Wagner, Trump on alleged election interference by Russia: "Get on with our lives",
Washington Post (Dec. 29, 2016).
"+s SF000006 (12/28/16 Text Message, Kislyak to Flynn).
u" Cag Records of Michael T, Flynn
'"' Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 2-3; McFariand 12/22/17 302, at 4-5.
' n 12/29/16 Email, McFsrland to O' Brien et al.; 12/29/16 Email, McFerland to Flynn et al.
"" SF000001 (12/29/16 Text Message, Flaherty to Flynn).

169
U,S. Department of Justice
//

p.m., McFarland called Flynn„but they did not talk.'t'4 Shortly thereafter, McFarland and Bannon
discussed the sanctions.'ts According to McFarland, Bannon remarked that the sanctions would
hurt their ability to have good relations with Russia, and that Russian escalation would make things
more difficult.'t s McFarland believed she told Bannon that Flynn was scheduled to talk to Kislyak
later that night.' ' M c Farland also believed she may have discussed the sanctions with Priebus,
and likewise told him that Flynn was scheduled to talk to Kislyak that night.' ss At 3:14 p.m.,
Flynn texted a Transition Team member who was assisting McFarland, "Time for a ca11777'uass
The Transition Team member responded that MeFarland was on the phone with Tom Bossett, a
Transition Team senior official, to which Flynn responded, "Tit for tat w Russia not good. Russian
AMBO reaching out to me today. 0'~

Flynn recalled that he chose not to communicate with Kislyak about the sanctions until he
had heard from the team at Mar-a-Lago.'t4' He first spoke with Michael Ledeen,'~t a Transition
Team member who advised on foreign policy and national security matters, for 20 minutes.n~'
Flynn then spoke with McFarland for almost 20 minutes to discuss what, if anything, to
communicate to Kislyak about the sanctions,' On that eall, McFarland and Flynn discussed the
sanctions, including their potential impact on the incoming Trump Administration's foreign policy
goals.' 4 McFarland and Flynn also discussed that Transition Team members in Mar-a-Lago did
not want Russia to escalate the situation.' 4 T hey both understood that Flynn would relay a
message to Kislyak in hopes of making sure the situation would not get out of hand.'

Call Records of K.T. McFarland


ui' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 5-6.
'" i McFarland 12/22/17 3Q2, at 5-6.
'@ McFarland 12/22/17 3Q2„at 6.
' ' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6.
u" SF000001 (12/29/16 Text Message, Flynn to Flsherty).
' ' SF000001 (12/29/16 Text Message, Flynn to Flaherty).
'+' Flynn 11/20/17 302, at3.
'~ M ichael Ledeen is married to Barbam Ledeen, the Senate staffer whose 2016 efforts to locate
Hillary Clinton's missing emails are described in Volume I, Section III.D.2, supra,
u4' Flynn 1 1?17/17 302, at 3; Call Records of Michael Ledeen

Fl on 11/37/17 302, at 34; Flynn Statement of Offense 3 c C a ll Records of K T. McFsrland


; Call Records of Michael T. Flynn
ui' Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4
's~ Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; Flynn Statement of Offense li 3(c); McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6-

uit Flynn 11/17/17 302 at 4; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6-7.

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U.S. Department of Justice

Immediately after speaking with McFarland, Flynn called and spoke with Kislyak,' as
Flynn discussed multiple topics whh Kislyak, including the sanctions, scheduling a video
teleconference between President-Elect Trump and Putin, an upcoming ten'orism conference, and
Russia's views about the Middle East,'~ W i t h respect to the sanctions, Flynn requested that
Russia not escalate the situation, not get into a "tit for tat," and only respond to the sanctions in a
reciprocal manner.' s

Multiple Transition Team members were aware that Flynn was speaking with Kislysk that
day. In addition to her conversations with Bannon and Reince Priebus, at 4:43 p,m., McFarland
sent an email io Transition Team members about the sanctions, informing the gmup that "Gen
[F]lyim is talking to russian ambassador this evening." " Le ss than an hour later, McFarland
briefed President-Elect Trump. Bannon, Priebus, Sean Spicer, and other Transition Team members
were present.'s s During the briefing, President-Elect Trump asked McFarland if the Russians did
"it," meaning the intrusions intended to influence the presidential election. i i M cFarland said
yes, and President-Elect Trump expressed doubt that it was the Russians.' 4 M cFarland also
discussed potential Russian responses to the sanctions, and said Russia's response would be an
indicator of what the Russians wanted going forward.' Pr e sident-Elect Trump opined that the
sanctions provided him with leverage to use with the Russians,'a s McFarland recalled that at the
end of the meeting, someone may have mentioned to President-Elect Trump that Flynn was
speaking to the Russian ambassador that evening.'

After the briefing, Flynn and McFarland spoke over the phone.'s" Flynn reported on the
substance of his call with Kislyak, including their discussion of the sanctions.'s A c cording to
McFarlsnd, Flynn mentioned that the Russian response to the sanctions was not going to be
escalatory because they wanted a good relationship with the incoming Administration,'~
McFarland also gave Flynn a summary of her recent briefing with President-Elect Trump.'ss'

' ' Flynn Statement of Offense $ 3(d).


'i's Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; Flynn Statement of Offense $ 3(c), 12/30/16 Email„Flynn to
McFarland.
'~' Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 1;F/ynn Staiement of Offense $ 3(d).
"" 12/29/16 Email, McFarland to Flynn ct al.
" a 12/29/16 Email, Westerhout to Flaheriy; McFsrland 12/22/17 302, at 7.
uu McFarlaud 12/22/17 302, at 7.
' " McFarlaud 12/22/17 302, at 7.
McFarlacd 12/22/17 302, at 7.
'~~~ McFarlsud 12/22/17 302, at 7;

u" McFarland 12/22/1 7 302, at 7.


ui' McFsrland 12/22/17 302, at 7.
u'i Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 4;Flynn Statement of Offense $ 3(e').
u~ McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 8.
' ' M cFarland 12/22/17 302, at 8.

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U.S. Department of Justice
//

The next day, December 30, 2016, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov remarked that
Russia would respond in kind to the sanctions,'ssr Putin super'seded that comment two hours later,
releasing a statement that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the sanctions
at that time,tsm Hours later President-Elect Trump tweeted, "Great move on delay (by V,
Putin) su 44 Shortly thereafter, Flynn sent a text message to McFarland summarizing his call with
Kislyak from the day before, which she emailed to Kushner, Baimon, Priebus, and other Transition
Team members,'~ T h e text message and email did not include sanctions as one of the topics
discussed with Kislyak.'s s Flynn told the Office that he did not document his discussion of
sanctions because it could be perceived as getting in the way of the Obama Administration's
foreign policy,'

On December 31, 2016, Kislyak called Flynn and told him the request had been received
at the highest levels and that Russia had chosen not to retaliate to the sanctions in response to the
request.' ss Two hours later, Flynn spoke with McFarland and relayed his conversation with
Kislyak.' ss A ccording to McFarland, Flynn remarked that the Russians wanted a better
relationship and that the relationship was back on track.'s" F l ynn also told McFarland that be
believed his phone call had made a difference.'sn McFarland recalled congratulating Flynn in
response. s~ Flynn spoke with other Transition Team members that day, but does not recall
whether they discussed the sanctions.'s~ Flynn recalled discussing the sanctions with Bannon the
nextday and thatBannon appeared to know aboutFlynn *s conversation with Kislyak,~74 Baonon,

Comment by foreign tv/In/ster Ssrgsy Lavrov on recent VS sanctions and the expulsion of
Russian diplomats,Moscow,,December 20, 2016; The Mini sti'y of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
(Dec. 30, 2016 (5:32 a.m,)).
Statement of the President of the Rtsrstan Federation, Kremlin, Office of the President (Dec.
30, 2016 (7:15 a.m.)).
' ' g realDonatdTrump 12/30/16 (11:41 s,m,) Tweet.
'sm 12/30/16 Email, Flynn to McFarland; 12/30/16 Email, McFarland to Kushner et al,
' ' l2/30/16 Email, McFarland to Kushner et al.
Flynn 11I1711 7 302, at 4.
'~' Call Records of Michael T. Flynn ; Flynn 11/1 7/17 302, at 1;
Flynn 1/19/17 302, at 3; Flynn Statement of Offense g 3(g),
u 4 Call Records of Michael T. Flynn ; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 5;
Flynn I/19/17 302, at 3; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 10.
' 4 McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 10,
uv' McFarland 12/22/17 302 at 10
' n McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 10.
tsrs Flynn 11/17/1 7 302 at 5 6
sn4 Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 1; Flynn 11/20/17 302, at 3; Flynn 1/19/17 302„at 5; Flynn Statement
of Offense $ 3(h).

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U.S. Department of Justice

for his part, recalled meeting with Flynn that day, but said that he did not r'emember discussing
sanctions with him.' 7'

Additional information about Flynn's sanctions-related discussions with Kislyak, and the
handling of those discussions by the Transition Team and the Trump Administration, is provided
in Volume II of this report.

In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and
individuals tied to the Russian government, Those links included Russian offers of assistance to
the Campaign. In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the, offer, whHe in other instances
the Campaign officials shied away. U l t imately, the investigation did not establish that the
Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference
activities.

u7~ Barmen 2/12lI 8 302, at 9.


U.S. Depariment of Justice

V, PRosEctrrioN ANDDEcI INATIoN DEcIsIoNs

The Appointment Order authorized the Special Counsel's Office "to prosecute federal
crimes arising &om [its] investigation" of the matters assigned to it. I n deciding whether to
exercise this prosecutorial authority, the Office has been guided by the Principles of Federal
Prosecution set forth in the Justice (formerly U.S. Attorney's) Manual. In particular, the Office
has evaluated whether the conduct of the individuals considered for prosecution canstituted a
federal offense and whether admissible evidence would probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain
@ conviction for such an offense. Justice Manual ) 9-27.220 (2018). Where the answer to those
questions was yes, the Office further considered whether the prosecution would serve a substantial
federal intere< the individuals were subject to effective prosecution in another jurisdiction, and
there existed an adequate non-criminal alternative to prosecution, Id.

As expl@ined below, those considerations led the Office to seek charges against two sets of
Russian nationals for their roles in er etratin the active-measures social media cern ai n and
corn uter-intmsion o etations,

The Of ice
sunilarly determined that the contacts etween Campaign o im s and Russia-linked individuals
either did not involve the commission af a federal crime or, in the case of campaign-finance
offenses, that our evidence was not sufficient to obtain and sustain a criminal conviction. At the
same time, the Office concluded that the Principles of Federal Prosecution supported charging
certain individuals connected to the Campaign w'ith m@king false statements or otherwise
obstructing this investigation or parallel congressianal investigations.

A. Russian "Active Measures" Social Media Campaign

'On F'ebruary 16, 2018, a federal gr@nd jury in the District af Columbia returned an
indictment charging 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities — including the Internet
Research Agency (IRA) and Concord Management and Consulting LLC (Concord) — with
violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes.' ts
The indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to defiaud the United States (Count
One), three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire &aud and bank fraud (Count Two), and
five defendants with aggravated identity theft (Counts Three through Eight). Internet Itesearc)t
Agency Indictment. Concord, which is one of the entities charged in the Count One conspiracy,
entered an appearance through U S. counsel and moved to dismiss the charge on multiple grounds.
In orders and memorandum opinions issued on August 13 and November 15, 2018, the district
court denied Concord's motions to dismiss. United Statesv, Concord Management dl Consulting
LLC, 347 F. Supp. 3d 38 (D.D.C. 2018), United Statesv, Concord Irianagetnent dt Constdting
LLC, 317 F, Supp. 3d 598 (D.D.C, 2018), As of this writing, the prosecution of Concord remains
ongoing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The ather defendants remain
at large.

' r' A more detailed explanation of the charging decision in this case is set forth in a separate
memorandum provided to the Acting Attorney General before the mdictment.

174
U,S, Deparlment of Justice

Although members of the IRA had contact with individuals affiliated with the Trump
Campaign, the indictment does not charge any Trump Campaign official or any other U.S, person
with participating in the conspiracy. That is because the investigation did not identify evidence
that any U.S. person who coordinated or communicated with the IRA knew that he oi she was
speaking with Russian nationale engaged in the criminal conspiracy. The Office therefore
determined that such persons did not have the knowledge or criminal purpose required to charge
them in the conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) or in the separate count alleging
a wire- and bank-fraud conspiracy involving the IRA and two individual Russian nationale (Count
Two) .

The Office did, however, charge one U.S, national for his role in supplying false ar stolen
bank account numbers that allowed the IRA conspirators to access U.S. online payment systems
by circumventing those systems' security features. On February 12, 2018, Richard Pinedo pleaded
guilty, pursuant ta a single-count information, to identity Iraud, in violation of 18 U,S.C.
g 1028(a)(7) and (b)(1)(D}. Plea Agreement, Ututed States v. Richard Pinedo, No. I:18-cr-24
(D.D.C, Feb. 12, 2018), Doc. 10. The investigation did not establish that Pinedo was aware of the
identity of the IRA members who purchased bank account numbers from him, Pinedo's sales af
account numbers enabled the IHA members to anonymously access a financial network through
which they transacted with U S. persons and companies. SeeGov't Sent. Mem. at 3„United States
v. Ri chord Ei nedo, No. I:18-cr-24 (D.D.C, Sept. 26, 2018), Doc. 24, On October 10, 2018, Pinedo
was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, to be followed by six months of home confinement,
and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

B. Russian Haulingand Dumping Operations

1. Section 1030 Com uter-Intrusion Cons ir

On July 13, 2018„a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment
charging Russian military intelligence officers from the GRU with conspiring to hack into various
U,S. computers used by the Clinton Campaign, DNC, DCCC, and other U.S,. persons, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. 8 1030 and 371 (Count One); committing identity theA and conspiring ta commit
money laundering in furtherance of that hacking conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. g' 1028A
and 1956(h) (Counts Two through Ten}; and a separate conspiracy to hack into the computers of
U.S, persons and entities responsible for the admiiiistration of the 2016 U.S. election, in violation
of 18 U,S.C. $$ 1030 and 371 (Count Eleven), //ety/tshoIndictment.'s A s of this writing, all 12
defendants remain at large.

The ¹t y hsho indictment alleges that the defendants conspired with one another and with
others to hack into the computers of U,S. persans and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential
election, steal documents fi'om those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents ta
interfere in the election. ¹ / y hsho Indictment $ 2, The indictment also describes how, in staging

'i" T he Office provided a more detailed explanation of the charging decision in this case in
meetings with the Office of the Acting Att orneyGeneral before the indicnnent.
I /5
U.S. Deparlment of Justice

the releases, the defendants used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to disseminate documents through
WikiLeaks. On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks released over 20,000 emails and other documents that
the hacking conspirators had stolen from the DNC. NetyksJtoIndictment $ 48, In addition, on
October 7, 2016, WiktLeaks began releasing emails that some conspirators had stolen from Clinton
Campaign chairman John Podesta, after a successful spearphishing operation. Ne t ykslto
Indictment $ 49.

• •

• • • •

6. CJtarging Decision As to

• • • • •

• • •

The Office also considered, but ruled out, charges on the theory that the post-hacking sharing
and dissemination of emails could constitute trafficking in or receipt of stolen pi'operly under the National
Stolen Property Act (NSPA), 18 U.S.C. 8 2314 and 2315. The statutes comprising the NSPA cover
'"goods, wares, or merchandise," and lower courts have largely understood, that phrase to be limited to
tangible items since the Supreme Court's decision in Dowling v, United States, 473 U.S, 207 (1985). See
UnitedStates v.yjiia Zhang, 995 F. Supp.2d 340, 344-48 (E.D, pa, 2014) (collecting cases). Orie of those
post-Dowling decisions — United States v. Brown, 925 F,2d 1301 (10th Cir. 1991) — speciTically held that
the NSPA does not reach "a computer program in source code form," even though that code was stored in
tangible items (i.e., a hard disk and in a three-ring notebook). Jd.at 1302-03. Cony ass, in turn, cited the
Brown opinion in explaining the need for amendments to 18 U.S.C. I 1030(a}(2) that "would ensure that
the thefi of intangible information by the unauthorized use of a computer is prohibited in the same way theft
of physical iteins [is] protected." S. Rep, 104-357, at 7 (1996). That sequence of events would make it
diffieult to argue that hacked emails in electronic form, which are the relevant stolen items here, constitute
"goods, wares„or merchandise" within the meaning of the NSPA.

176
Harm to Ongoing Matter

Harm to Ongoing Matter

Harm to Ongoing Matter


• 0 • •

• • •

• • o •

• l •

• I •

1279 • • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

• • 1

2. Potent" 1 S t ' 0

See United States v.


Jfti lie, 476 F,3d 1121, 1125 n.l (10th Cir. 2007) exp sining that't e 1986 amendments to Section
1030 reflect Congress's desire to reach "'intentional acts of unauthorized access —rather than
mistaken, inadvertent or careless ones"') (quoting S. Rep. 99-432, at 5 (1986)). In addition, the
computer likely qualifies as a "protected" one under the statute, which
reaches "effectively all computers with Internet access." United Statesv. Nosal 676 F.3d 854
859 9th Cir. 2012 en banc,

Applying the Principles of Federal Prosecution, however, the Office determined that
prosecution of this potential violation was not warranted. Those Principles instruct prosecutors to
consider, among other things, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the person's culpability in
connection with the offense, and the probable sentence to be im osed if the r osecution is
successful. Justice Manual 9 -27.230,

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U.S. Department of Justice

C. Russian Government Outreach and Contacts

As explained in Section IV above, the Office's investigation uncovered evidence of


numerous links (i.e., contacts) between Trump Campaign officials and individuals having or
claiming to have ties to the Russian government. The Office evaluated the contacts under several
sets of federal laws, including conspiracy laws and statutes governing foreign agents who operate
in the United States. After considering the available evidence, the Office did not pmsue charges
under these statutes against any of the individuals discussed in Section IU above — with the
exception of PARA charges against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates based on their activities on
behalf of Ukraine.

One of the interactions between the Trump Campaign and Russian-aAiliated individuals-
the June 9, 2016 meeting between high-ranking campaign officials and Russians promising
derogatory information on Hillary Clinton — implicates an additional body of law; campaign-
finance statutes, Schemes involving the solicitation or receipt of assistance from foreign sources
iaise difficult statutory and constitutional questions. As e l a ined below the Office evaluated
those questions in connection with the June 9 meeting
The Office ultimately concluded that, even if the principal egal questions were resolved favorably
to the governm ent, a prosecution would encounter diffirulties proving that Campaign officials or
individuals connected to the Campaign willfully violated the law.

Finally, although the evidence of contacts between Campaign officials and Russia-
affiliated individuals may not have been sufficient to establish or sustain criminal charges, several
U.S. persons connected to the Campaign made false, statements about those contacts and took other
steps to obstruct the Office's investigation and thos'e of Congress. This Office has therefore
charged some of those individuals with making false statements and obstmcting justice.

1. Potential Coordination; Cons irac andCollusion

As an initial matter, this Office evaluated potentially criminal conduct that involved the
collective action of multiple individuals not under the rubric of "collusion," but through the lens
of conspiracy law, In so doing, the Office recognized that the word "collud[ej" appears in the
Acting Att orney General's August 2, 2017 memorandum„ it has frequently been invoked in public
reporting;. and it is sometimes referenced in antitrust law, see, e:g., Brooke Group v. Browri dI
}Yilliamsoir Tobacco Cor/z, 509 U.S, 209, 227 (1993). But collusion is not a specific offense or
theory of liability found in the U,S. Code; nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. To the.
contrary, even as defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as
that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. g 371. Bee Block's Law
Dictionary 321 (10th ed. 2014) (collusion is "[a]n agreement to defraud another or to do or obtain
something forbidden by law"); I Alexander Burrill, 3 Law Dictionary 'and Glossary 311 (1871)
(" An agreement between two or more persons to defraud another by the forms of law, or to employ
such forms as means of accomplishing some unlawful object."); I Bouvier*sLaw Dicfionury 352

180
U.S. Department of Justice

(1897) (" An agreement between two or more persons to defraud a person of his rights by the forms
of law, or to obtain an object forbidden By law."),

For that reason, this Office's focus in resolving the question of joint criminal liability was
on conspiracy as defined in federal law, not the commonly discussed term "collusion." The Office
considered in parncular whether contacts between Trump Campaign officials and Russia-linked
individuals could trigger liability for the crime of conspiracy — either under statutes that have their
own conspiracy language (e.g., 18 U.S.C. 8 1349, 1951{a)), or under the general conspiracy
statute (18 U,S,C. $ 371). The investigation did not establish that the contacts described in Volume
I, Section IV, euiira, amounted to an agreement to commit any substantive violation of federal
criminal law — mcluding foreign-influence and campaign-finance laws, both of w hich are
discussed further below, The Office therefore did not charge any individual associated with the
Trump Campaign with conspiracy to commit a federal offense arising from Russia contacts,either
under a specific statute or under Section 371's offenses clause,

The Office also did not charge any campaign official or associate with a conspiracy under
Section 371's defraud clause. That clause criminalizes participating in an agreement to obstruct a
lawful function of the U.S. government or its agencies through deceitful or dishonest means.See
Dermis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 861 (1966)I 'Hammerschmidt v. United States,265 U,S.
182, 188 (1924}; see also United Statesv. Concord Mgmt. dr Consulting LLC, 347 F. Supp. 3d 38,
46 (D,D.C. 2018). The investigation did not establish any agreement among Campaign offlcials-
or between such officials and Russia-linked individuals — to interfere w'ith or obstruct a lawful
function of a government agency during the campaign or transition period. And, as discussed in
Volume I, Section V.A, supra, the investigation did not identify evidence that any Campaign
official or associate knmvingly and intentionally participated in the conspiracy to de&aud that the
Office charged„namely„ the active-measures conspiracy described in Volume I, Section II, supra.
Accordingly, the Office did not charge any Campaign associate or' other U.S. person with
conspiracy to defraud the United States based on the Russia-related contacts described in Section
IV above.

2. P otential Coordination; Forei n A ent Statutes PARA and 18 U.S.C. 9 5 1

The Office next assessed the potential liability of Campaign-affiliated individuals under
federal statutes regulating actions on behalf of, or work done for, a foreign government.

a. Governing Law

Under 18 U.S.C. $ 951, it is generally illegal to act in the United States as an agent of a
foreign government without providing notice to the Attorney General. Although the defendant,
must act on behalf of a foreign governm
ent (asappealedto other kinds of foreign entities), the acts
need not involve espionage; rather, acts of any type suffice for liability, See United Statesv.
Duran, 596 F.gd I'283, 1293-94 (11th Cir. 2010}; United Statesv. Latchin, 554 F,3d 709, 715 (7th
Cir. 2009); United States v. Dumeisi, 424 F.3d 566, 581 (7th Cir. 2005). An "agent of a foreign
govemlilent i s an i i ldividual wh o a grees to operate in the United States subject to the
direction or control of a foreign government or officiaL" 18 U.S.C, $ 951(d).

181
U.S. Depaitment of Justice

The crime defined by Section 951 is complete upon knowingly acting in the United States
as an unregistered foreign-government agent. 18 U.S.C. $ 951(a). The statute does not require
willfulness, and knowledge of the notification requirement is not an element of the offense. United
Statesv. Camp, 529 F3d 980, 998-99 (11th Cir. 2008);Duran, 596 F.3d at 1291-94; Durnets/,
424 F.3d at 581.

The Foreign Agents Registratian Act (FARA) generally makes it illegal'to act as an agent
of a foreign principal by engaging in oertain (largely political) activities in the United States
without registering with the Attorney General. 22 U.S.C. f$ 611-621. The triggering agency
relationship must be with a foreign principal or "a person any of whose activities are directly or
indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, finanoed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a
foreign principal." 22 U.S.C. $ 611(o)(1), That includes a foreign government ar political party
and various foreign individuals and entities. 22 U, S.C. $ 611(b). A covered relationship exists if
a person "acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant" ar "in any other capacity at the
order, request, or under the [foreign principal's] direction or oontrol." 22 U.S.C. f 611(c)(1}. It
is sufffcient if the person agrees, consents, assuines or purports to act as, or who is or holds
himself out to lx;, whether or not pursuant to contractual relationship, an agent of a foreign
principal," 22 U.S.C. 5 611(c)(2).

The triggering activity is that the agent "directly ot through any other person" in the United
States (I) erigages in "political activities for or in the interests of [the] foreign principal," which
includes attempts to influence federal officials or the public, (2) acts as "public relations counsel,
publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such
foreign principal"; (3) "solicits, collects, disburses, or dispenses conuibutions, loans, money, or
other things of value for or in the interest of such foreign principal"', or (4) "'represents the interests
of such foreign principal" before any federal agency or official. 22 U.S.C. $ 611(c)(1).

It is a crime to engage in a "[w]illful violation of any provision of the Act or any regulation
thereunder." 22 U.S.C. 4 618(a)(1), It is alsa a crime willfully to make false statements or
omissions of material facts in FARA registration statements or suppl'ements. 2 2 U .S.C.
g 618(a)(2). Most violations have a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a 810,000
fine. 22 U.S.C, ) 618.

b. Application

The investigation uncovered extensive evidence that Paul Manafort's and Richard Gates's
pre-campaign work for the government of Ulaaine violated FARA. Manafort and Gates were
charged for that conduct and admitted to it when they pleaded guilty to superseding criminal
informations in the District of Columbia prosecution,' Th e evidence underlying those charges
is not addressed in this report because it was discussed in public court documents and in a separate

's" GatesSuperseding Criminal Information; Waiver of Indictment, United Statesv. Richard It'.
Gates III, I;17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2018), Doo, 203,' Waiver of Trial by Jury, United Statesv. Richard
IF: Gates III„ I;17-cr-201 (D.B.C. Feb. 23, 2018), Doc. 204; GatesPlea Agreement; Statement of Offense,
United States v. Richard gr. Gates III, I:17-cr-201 (D,D.C, Feb. 23, 2018), Doo, 206; Plea Agreement,
UnitedStates v. Paid J Ivianafort Jr., I:17 cr 201 (D D C. Sept. 14, 2018), Doc. 422; Statement of Offense,
United States v. Pau/ J. /danafort, Jr., 1;17-or-201 (D.D,C. Sept, 14, 2018), Doc. 423.
U.S. Department of Justice

prosecution memorandum submitted to the Acting Attorney General before the original indictment
in that case.

In addition, the, investigation produced evidence of FARA violations involving Michael


Flynn, Those potential violations, however, concerned a country other than Russia (he., Turkey)
and were resolved when Flynn admitted to the underlying facts in the Statement of Offense that
accompanied his guilty plea to a false-statements charge. Statement of OÃense, United States v.
Michael T. Fiynaa, No. I: 17-cr-232 (D.D,C. Dec. I, 2 017), Doc. 4 (" FlyranStatement of
Offense" ) isai

The investigation did not, however, yield evidence sufficient to sustain any charge that any
individual affiliated with the Trump Campaign acted «s an agent of a foreign pr'incipal within the
meaning of FARA or, in terms of Section 951, subject to the direction or control of the government
of Russia, or any o6icial thereof, In particular, the Office did not fmd evidence likely to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that Campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos,
and Carter Page acted as agents of the Russian ovemment — or at its direction control or
re uest~ u r i n t he relevant time eriod.' ~

saresult,t e O i c edi n ot charge anyo er TrumpCampaigno icialwithvio sting


FARA or Seotion 951, or attempting or conspiring to do so, based on contacts with the Russian
government or a Russian principaL

Finally, the Office investigated whether one of the above campaign advisors — George
Papadopoulos — acted as an agent of, or at the direction and control of, the government of Israel.
While the investigation revealed significant ties between Papadopoulos and Israel (and search
warrants were obtained in patt on that basis), the Office ultimately determined that the evidence
was not sufficient to obtain and sustain a 'conviction under FARA or Section 951.

3, ~c a a
Several areas of the Office's investigation involved efforts or offers by foreign nationals to
provide negative information about candidate Clinton to the Trump Campaign or to distribute that
information to the public, to the anticipated benefit of the Campaign. As explained below, the
Oflice considered whether two of those efforts in particular — the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump

oai . • a •

"o On four occasions, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) issued warrants based
on a fuiding of probable cause to believe that Page was an agent of a foreign power. 50 U.S,C, g$ 1801(b)„
*
1805(a)(2)(A), The FISC s probable-cause finding was based on a different (and lower) standard than the
one governing the Office's decision whether to bring charges against Page, which is whether admissible
evidence would likely be sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Page acted as an agent of the
Russian Federation during the period at issue. Cf, Uaaitsd Statesv, Cardoza, 713 F.3d 656, 660 (D.C. Cir.
2013) (explaining that probable cause requires only "a fair probability," snd not "certainty, or pmof beyond
a reasonable doubt, or proof by a preponderance of the evidence" ).
U.S. Department of Justice

Towei' • •

,constituted prosecutable violations of


-

the campaign-finance aws. The Offlce determined that the evidence was not sufficient to charge
either incident as a criminal violation.

I, Overview Of Governing Law

"[T]he United States has a compelling interest.. . in limiting the participation of foreign
citizens in activities of democratic self-goveriunent, and in thereby preventing foreign influence
over the U.S. political process." Bluman v. FEC, 800 F, Supp. 2d 281, 288 (D.IJ.C, 2011)
(Kavanaugh, J., for three-judge court), ag'd, 565 U.S. 1104 (2012). To that end, federal campaign-
finance law b roadly prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions, donations,
expenditures, or other disbursements in connection with federal, state, or local candidate elections,
and prohibits anyone from soliciting, accepting, or receiving such contributions or donations, As
relevant here, foreign nationals may not make — and no one may "solicit, accept, or receive" from
them — "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value" or "an express or implied
promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election."'
52 U,S,C. g'30121(a)(1)(A), (a)(2).'~s The term "contribution," which is used thmughout the
campaign-fmance law, "includes" "any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or
anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal
office." 52 U,S,C. $ 30101(8)(A)(i). It excludes, among other things, "the value of [volunteer]
services." 52 U.S.C. $ 30101(8)(B)(i).

Foreign nationals are also baired from making "an expenditure, independent expenditure,
or disbursement for an electioneering communication," 52 U.S,C, ( 30121(a)(1)(C), The term
"expenditure" "includes" "any purchase, payment, distribution, loan,, advance, deposit, or gift of
money or anything of value, made by any person foi the purpose of influencing any election for
Federal office." 52 U,S.C. $ 30101(9)(A)(i). It excludes, among other things, news stories and
non-partisan get-out-the-vote activities. 52 U.S.C. $ 30101(9)(B)(i)-(ii). A n " independent
expenditure" is an expenditure '"expressly advocating the election or defeat of'a clearly identified
candidate*' and made independently of the campaign. 52 U.S.C. ( 30101(17). An "electioneering
communication" is a broadcast communication that 'refers to a clearly identified candidate for
Federal offire" and is made within specified time periods and targeted at the relevant electorate,
52 U.S.C. f 30104(f)(3).

The statute defines "foreign national" by reference to FARA and the Immigration and
Nationality Act, with minor modification. 52 U.S,C. $ 30121(b) (cross-referencing 22 U.S.C.
) 6'11(b)(1)-(3) and 8 U.S,C. f 1101(a)(20), (22)). That definition yields five, sometimes-
overlapping categories of foreign nationals, which include all of the individuals and entities
relevant for present purposes —namely, foreign govenunents and political parties„ individuals

' Camps'ign-finance law also places financial limits on conb'ibutions, 52 U.S.C. ( 30116(a), and
prohibits contributions Iiom corporations, banks, and labor unions, 52 U,S.C. 8 30118(a); seeCiriaens
United v FEC, 558 U.S. 310, 320 (2010). Because the, conduct that the Office investigated involved
possible electoral activity by foreign nationals, the foreign-contributions bau is the most readily applicable
provision,

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U,S. Department of Justice

outside of' the U.S. who arc not legal permanent residents, and certain non-U.S, entities located
outside of the U,S,

A "knowing[] and willful[]" violation involving an aggregate of $25,000 or more in a


calendar year is a felony. 52 U.S.C. $ 30109(d)(1)(A)(i); see Blunutn, 800 F. Supp. 2d at 292 *
(noting that a willful violation will require some "proof of the defendant' s knowledge of the law' );
United States v. Donteiczyk, 917 F, Supp, 2d 573, 577 (E.D. Va. 2013) (applying willfulness
standard drawn kom Bryan v. United States, 524 U.S. 184, 191-92 (1998)); see also Wagner v.
EEC, 793F.3d 1, 19 n.23 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (en banc) (same). A "knowing[] and willful[] *' violation
invohing an aggregate of $2,000 ar mare in a calendar year„but less than $25,000, is, a
misdemeanor. 52 U.S.C. $ 30109(d)(1)(A)(ii),

b. Application to June 9 Trump Tower Jtfeeting

The Office considered whether to charge Trump Campaign officials with crimes in
connection with the Junc 9 meeting described in Volume I, Section IVA.5, supra. The Office
concluded that, in light of the government's substantial burden of praaf on issues of intent
("knowing" and "willful" ), and thc difficulty af establishing the value of the offered information,
criminal charges would not meet the Justice Manual standard that "the admissible evidence will
probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction." Justice Manual 8 9-27220.

In brief; the key facts are that, on June 3, 2016, Robert Goldstone emailed Donald Trump
Jr., to pass along from Emin and Aras Agalarov an "offer*' Iram Russ'ia's "Crown prosecutor*' ta
"theTrump campaign" of*'offlcial dacumcnts and infarmation that would incriminate Hillary and
her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to [Trump Jr.'s] father." The email described
this as "very high level and sensitive information" that is "part of Russia and its government's
supyort to Mr, Tnunp-helped along by Aras and Emin." Trump Jr, responded.' "if it's what yau
say I love it especially later in the summer," T rump Jr. and Emin Agalarov had follow-up
conversations and, within days, scheduled a meeting with Russian representatives that was
attended by Trumy Jr., Manafort, and Kushner. The communications setnng up the meeting and
the attendance by high-level Campaign representatives support an inference that the Campaign
anticipated receiving derogatory documents and information from official Russian saurces that
could assist candidate Trump's electoral prospects.

This series of events could implicate the federal election-law ban on contributions and
donations by foreign nationals, 52 U.S.C. t) 30121(a)(1)(A). Specifically, Goldstone passed along
an offer purportedly from a Russian gav'ernment official to provide "official documents and
mformation" to the Trump Camyaign for the purposes of influencing the presidential election.
Trump Jr. appears to have accepted that offer and to have arranged a meeting to receive those
materials, Documentary evidence in the form of email chains supports the inference that Kushner
and Manafort were aware of that purpose and attended the June 9 meeting anticipating the receipt
of helpful information to the Campaign from Russian sources.

The Office considered whether this cvidcnce would establish a conspiracy to violate the
foreign contributions ban„ in violation of 18 U.S.C. ) 371; the solicitation of an illegal foreign-
source contribution; or the acceptance ar receipt of "an express or implied promise to make a

185
U.S. Department of Justice

[foreiy1-source] contribution," both in violation of 52 U.S.C. $ 30121(a)(l)(A)„(a)(2). There are


reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a "thing of value'* within the
meaning of these provisions, but the Office determined that the government would not be likely to
obtain and sustain a conviction for two. other reasons: first, the Office did not obtain admissible
evidence likely to meet the government's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these
individuals acted '*willfully," i.e., with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct; and,
second, the government ~ould likely encounter. difficulty in pmving beyond a reasonable doubt
that thc value of the promised information exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation, see 52
U.S,C. g 30109(d}(1)(A}(i).

i. Thing-of- Value Element

A threshold legal question is whether providing to a c ampaign "documents and


information" of the type mvolved here would constitute a prohibited campaign contribution, The
foreign contribution ban is not limited to contributions of money. I t expressly prohibits "a
contribution or donation of money or other thing of value." 52 U,S.C. tj 30121(a)(1)(A), (a)(2)
(emphasis added). And the term "contribution" is defmed throughout the campaign-finance laws
to "includeP*' "any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value."
52 U.S.C, tj 30101(8)(A)(i) (emphasis added).

The phrases "thing of value" and "anything of value" are broad and i'nclusive enough to
encompass at least some forms of valuable information. Throughout the United States Code, these
phrases serve as "term[a] of art" that are construed "broad[ly]." United Statesv. Xi&en, 967 F.2d
539, 542 (11th Cir. 1992) ger curiam) ("thing of value" includes "both tangibles and intangibles" );
seealso, e.g., 18 U.S.C, )$ 201(b)(1), 666(a)(2) (bribery statutes);id. $ 641 (theft of government
property). For example, the term "thing of value"' erieompasses law enforcement reports that
would reveal the identity of informants, Umted Statesv. Girard, 601 F,2d 69, 71 (2d Cir. 1979);
classified materials, United Statesv. Ftnvler, 932 F.2d 306,, 310 (4th Cir. 1991); confidential
information about a competitive bid, United Statesv. Matztdn, 14 F.3d 1014, 1020 (4th,Cir. 1994);
secret grand jury information, United States v. Jeter, 775 F.2d 670, 680 (6th Cir. 1985); and
information about a witness's whereabouts, United States v. Sheher, 618 F.2d 607, 609 (9th Cir,
1980) ger curiam). And in the public corruption context, '*'thing of value' is defined broadly to
include the value which the defendant subjectively attaches to the items received," United States
v, Renzi, 769 F.3d 731, 744 (9th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations recognize the value to a campaign of' at
least some forms of information, stating that the term "anything of value" includes "the provision
o f any goods or services without chaige," such as "membership lists" snd "mailing lists." 1 1
C,F.R, $ 100.52(d}(1). The FEC has concluded that the phrase includes a state-by-state list of
activists. See Citizensfor Responsibility and Ethics in IVashtngton v. FEC, 475 F.3d 337, 338
(D.C. Cir. 2007) (describing the FEC's findir~s). Likewise, polling data provided to a campaign
constitutes a "contribution," FEG Advisory Opinion 1990-12 (Strub'), 1990 %L 153454 (citing 11
C.F.R, t) 106,4(b)). And in the specific context of the foreign-contributions ban, the FEC has
concluded that "election materials used in previous Canadian campaigns," including "flyers,
advertisements, door hangers, tri-folds, signs, and other printed material," constitute "anything of

186
U.S. Deparnnent of Justice
//

value," even though "the value of these materials may be nominal or difficult to ascertain." FEC
Advisory Opinion 2007-22 (Hurysz), 2007 WL 5172375, at "5,

These authorities would support the view that candidate-related opposition research given
to a campaign for the purpose of influencing an election could constitute a conixibution to which
the fore@n-source ban could apply. A campaign can be assisted not only by the provision of funds,
but also by the provision of derogatory information about an opponent. Political campaigns
frequently conduct and pay for opposition research, A foreign entity that engaged in such research
and provided resulting information to a campaign could exert a greater effect on an election, and
a greater tendency to ingratiate the, donor to the candidate, than a gift of money or tangible things
of value, A t t h e same time, no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of
uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount
to a contribution under campaign-finance law. Such an interpretation could have implications
beyond the foreign-source ban, see 52 U.S.C. $ 30116(a) (imposing monetary limits on campaign
contributions), and raise First Amendment questions. Those questions could be especially difficult
w here the information consisted simply of the recounting of historically accurate facts. It i s
uncertain how courts would resolve those issues.

ii. 8'illful ness

Even assuming that the promised "documents and information that would incriminate
Hillary" constitute a "thing of value" under campaign-finance law, the government would
encounter other challenges in seeking to obtain and sustain a conviction. Most significantly, the
goveinment has not obtained admissible evidence that is likely to establish the scienter requirement
beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove that a defendant acted "knowingly and willfully," the
governm
ent w ould have to show that the defendant had general knowledge that his conduct was
unlawful. U S. Department of Justice, Federal/Prosecution of Eiection Offenses 123 (8th ed. Dec.
2017) ("Etecrion Offenses"); see Blumrtn, 800 F. Supp. 2d at 292 (noting that a willful violation
requires "proof of the defendant's knowledge of the law"); Darrielcxy/r, 917 F, Supp, 2d at 577
(" knowledge of general unlawfulness"), "This standard creates an elevated scienter element
requiring, at the very least, that application of the law to the facts in question be fairly clear. When
there is substantial doubt concerning whether the law applies to the facts of a particular matter, the
offender is more likely to have an intent defense," ElectionOffenses 123,

On the facts here, the government would unlikely be able to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that the June 9 meeting participants had general knowledge that their conduct was unlawful.
The investigation has not developed evidence that the participants in the meeting were familiar
with the foreign-contribution ban or the application of federal law to the relevant factual context.
The government does not have strong evidence of surreptitious behavior or efforts at concealment
at the time of the June 9 meeting, While the government has evidence of later efforts to prevent
disclosure of the nature of the June 9 meeting that could cirrumstantially provide support for a
showing of scienter, see Volume II„Section II.G, inPa, that concealment occurred more than a
year later, involved individuals who did not attend the June 9 meeting, and may mflect an intention
to avoid political consequences rather than any prior knowledge of illegality. Additionally, in light
of the unresolved legal questions about whether giving "documents and information" of the sort
offered here constitutes a campaign contribution, Trump Jr. could mount a factual defextse that he

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U.S. Department of Justice

did not believe his response to the offer and the June 9 meeting itself violated the law. Given his
less direct involvement in arranging the June 9 meeting, Kushner could likely mount a similar
defense, And, while Manafart is experienced with political campaigns, the Office has not
developed evidence showing that he had relevant knowledge of these legal issues.

iii. Difficulties in Valuing Proinised Information

The Office would also encounter difficuhy proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the
value of the promised documents and information exceeds the $2,000 threshold for a criminal
violation, as well as the $25,000 threshold for felony punishment. See52 U,S,C, tj 50109(d)(1).
The type of evidence commonly used ta establish the value of non-monetary conttibutions — such
as pricing the contribution on a conunercial market or determitung the upslream acquisition cost
or the cost of distribution — would likely be unavailable or inefl'ective in this factual setting.
Although damaging apposition research is surely valuable to a campaign, it appears that the
information ultimately delivered in the meeting was not valuable. And while value in a conspiracy
may well be measured by what the participants expected to receive at the time of the agreement,
see, e.g., United Statesv. Tombrella, 666 F.2d 485, 489 (11th Cir, 1982), Goldstone's description
of the offered material here was quite general. His suggestion af the information's value —i.e.,
that it would "incriminate Hillary" and "would be very useful to [Trump Jr.'s] father" — was non-
specific and may have been understood as being of uncertain worth or reliability, given
Goldstone's lack of direct access to the original source. The uncertainty over what would be
delivered could be reflected in Trump Jr.'s response ("if it 's what you say I love it") (emphasis
added).

Accordingly, taking into account the high burden to establish a culpable mental state in a
campaign-finance prosecution and the difficulty in establishing the tequired valuation, the Office
decided not to pursue criminal campaign-finance charges against Trump Jr. or other campaign
officials for the events culminating in the June 9 meeting.

c. AJtplicatton to

• • •
U.S. Department of Justice

s • • •

i. ues tions Over Whether •


• e •

• • • • •

• • •

• • • •
U.S. Department of Justice

it 8 'illfulness

As discussed, to establish a criminal campaign-fmance violation, the government must


prove that the defendant acted "knowingly and willfully." 52 U.S,C. ) 30109(d)(1)(A)(i). That
standard requires proof that the defendant knew generally that his conduct was unlawful, Election
Offenses 123. Given the uncertainties noted above, the "will6ilness" requirement would pose a
substantial barrier to prosecution.

iii C onstitutional Constdemttons

Finall t h eFirstAmendment could ose constraints on a rosecution.


• • •

iv. Analysisos togg~


• • •

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U.S, Department of Justice

• • • •

• • • •

4, False Statements and Obstruction of the Investi ation

The Office determined that certain individuals associated with the Campaign lied to
investigators about Campaign contacts with Russia and have taken other actions to interfere with
the investigation, As explained below, the Office therefore charged some U.S. persons connected
to the Campaign with false statements and obstruction offenses.

a Overview Of Governing Law

Poise Statements. Th e p rincipal federal statute criminalizing false statements to


government investigators is 18 U.S.C. $ 1001. As relevant here, under Section 1001(a)(2), it is a,
crime to knowingly and willfully "makeP any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement
or representation" "'in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive . . . b ranch of the
Government." An FBI investigation is a matter within the Executive Branch's jurisdiction. United
States v. Rodgers, 466 U.S. 475, 479 (1984). The statute also applies to a subset of legislative
branch actions — viz., administrative matters and "investigation[a] or review[sj" conducted by a
congressional committee or subcommittee. I:8 U.S.C. ti 1001(c)(1) and (2); see United States v.
Pic/a*.tt, 353F.3d 62, 66 (D,C, Cir. 2004).

%hether the statement was made to law enforcement or congressional investigators, the
governm ent must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the same basic non-jurisdictional elements:
the statement was false, fictitious, or fraudulent; the defendant knew both that it was false and that
it was unlawful to make a false statement; and the false statement was material, See, e.g., United
States v. Srnitk„831 F.3d 1207, 1222 n,27 (9th Cir. 2017) (listing elements); see also Ninth Circuit
Pattern Instmction 8.73 gr cmt. (explaining that the Section 1001 jury instruction was modified in
light of the Department of Justice' s position that the phrase aknowingly and willfully *' in the statute '
requires the defendant! s knowledge that his or her conduct was unlawful). In the D.C. Circuit, the
government must prove that the statement was actually false; a statement that is misleading but
"literally true" does not satisfy Section 1001(a)(2), See United Statesv. Milton, 8 F.3d 39,, 45

191
U.S. Department of Justice

(D.C. Cir. 1993); United Statesv. Dale, 991 F.2d 819, 832-33 4 n.22 (D.C. Cir. 1993). For that
false statement to qualify as "material," it must have a natural tendency to influence, or be capable
of influencing, a discrete decision or any other function of the agency to which it is addressed, See
United States v. Go@dr)t, 515 U.S. 506, 509 (1995); United Statesv. Moore, 612 F.3d 698, 701
(D.C, Cir. 2010).

Perjury. Under the federal perjury statutes, it is a crime for a witness testifying under oath
before a grand jury to knowingly make any false material declaration. See 18 U.S.C. 6 1623. The
government must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction under
Section 1623(a): the defendant testified under oath before a federal grand jury.; the defendant's
testimony was false in one or more respects; the false testimony concerned matters that were
material to the grand jury investigation; and the false testimony was knowingly given. United
States v. Bridges, 717 F.2d 1444, 1449 n.30 (D.C, Cir. 1983). The general perjury statute, 18
U.S.C. II 1621, also applies to grand jury testimony and has similar elements, except thatit requires
that the witness have acted willfully and that the g overnm
ent s atisfy "strict common-law
requirements for establishing falsity." See Drinnv. United States, 442 U. S, 100, 106 k n.6 (1979)
(explaining "the two-w4tness rule" and the corroboration that it demands).

Obstruction of Justice, Th ree basic elements are common to the obstruction statutes
pertinent to this Office's charging decisions: an obstructive act; some form of nexus between the
obstructive act and an oAicial proceeding; and criminal (i.e., corrupt) intent. A detailed discussion
of those elements, and the law governing obstruction of justice more generally, is included in
Volume II of the report.

b. Application to Certain Individuals

i. George Papadopotdos

Investigators approached Papadopoulos for an interview based on his role as a foreign


policy advisor to the Trump Campaign and his suggestion to a foreign government representative
that Russia had indicated that it cauld assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of
infor'mation damaging to candidate Clinton. On January 27, 2017, Papadopoulos agreed to be
interviewed by FBI agents, who informed him that the interview was part of the investigation into
potential Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election.

During the interview., Papadopoulos lied about the timing, extent„and rtature of his
communications with Joseph Mifsud, Olga Palonskaya, and Ivan Timofeev. With respect to
timing, Papadopoulas acknowledged that he had met Mifsud and that Mifsud told him the Russians
had "dirt" on Clinton in the form af "thousands of emails," But Papadopoulos stated multiple
times that those communications occurred before he joined the Trump Campaign and that it was a
"very strange coincidence" to be told af the "dirt" before he started working for the Campaign.
This account was false. Papadopoulos met Mifsud for the first time on approximately March 14,
2016, after Papadopoulos had already learned he would be a foreign policy advisor for the
Cainpaign, Mifsud showed interest in Papadopaulos only after learning of his role on the
Campaign. And Mifsud told Papadopoulos about the Russians possessing "diit" an candidate
Clinton in late April 2016, more than a month after Papadopoulos had joined the Campaign and
U.S, Department of Justice

been publicly announced by candhlate Trump, Statement of Offense P 25-26, United States v,
George Popodopoulos, No. I:17-cr-182 (D.D.C. Oct, 5, 2017), Dos. 19 ("Papadopoulos Statement
of Offense"').

Papadopoulos also made false statements in an effort to minimize the extent and
importance of his communicatians with Mi'fsud. F o r example, Papadopoulos stated that
"[Mifsud]'s a nothing," that he thought Mifsud was "just a guy talk[ing] up ronnections or
something," and that he believed Mifsud was "BS'ing to be completely honest with you." In fact,
however, Papadoyoulos understood Mifsud to have substantial connections to high-level Russian
government officials and that Mifsud spoke with some of those officials in Moscow before telling
Payadopaulos about the "dirt." Papadopoulos also engaged in extensive communications over a
period of months with Mifsud about foreign policy issues for the, Campaign, including efforts to
arrange a "history making" meeting between the Campaign and Russian g overnm
ent officials. In
addition, Papadopoulas failed ta inform investigators that Mifsud had introduced him to Timofeev,
the Russian national who Papadopaulos understood to be connected to the Russian Ministry of
Fareign Affairs, despite being asked if he had met with Russian nationale or "[a]nyone with a
Russian accent" during the campaigrL Papodopoulos Statement of Offense $$ 27-29,

Papadayoulos also falsely claimed that he met Polonskaya before he joined the Campaign,
and falsely told the FBI that he had "no" relationship at all with her, He stated that the extent of
their communications was her sending emails — '"Just, 'Hi, how are you7' That's it." I n truth,
however„Papadopoulos met Polonskaya on March 24, 2016, after he had joined the Campaign; he
believed that she had connections to high-level Russian government offlcials and could help him
arrange a potential foreign policy trip to Russia. During the campaign he emailed and spoke with
her over Skyye an numerous occasions about the potential foreign policy trip to Russia.
Papadopo ulosStatement of Offense $I[ 30-31.

Papadopoulos's false statements in January 2017 impeded the FBI's investigation into
Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. M ost immediately, those statements
hindered investigators' ability to effectively question Mifsud when he was interviewed in the lobby
of a Washington, D,C. hotel on February 10, 2017. SeeOov't Sent. Mem. at 6, United Statesv.
George Popodopoulos, No. I;17-cr-182 (D.D.C. Aug. 18, 2017), Dac. 44. During that interview,
Mifsud admitted to knowing Payadapaulas and ta having introduced him ta Polonskaya and
Timafeev. But Mifsud denied that he had advance knowledge, that Russia was in possession af
emails damaging to candidate Clinton, stating that he and Papadopoulos had discussed
cybersecurity and hacking as a larger issue and that Papadopoulos must have misunderstood their
conversation. Mifsud also falsely stated that he had not seen Papadopoulos since the meeting at
which Mifsud introduced him to Polonskaya, even though emails, text messages, and other
information show that Mifsud met with Papadopoulos on at least twa ather occasions — Ayril 12
and April 26, 2016, In addition, Mifsud omitted that he had drafted (or edited) the follow-up
'message that Polonskaya sent to Papadapoulos fallowing the initial meeting and that, as reflected
in the language of that email chain (" Baby, thank youl" ), Mifsud may have been involved in a
personal relationship with Polonskaya at the time. T he false information and omissions in
Papadopoulos's January 2017 interview undermined investigators' ability to challenge Mifsud
when he made these inaccurate statements.
U.S, Department of Justice

Given the seriousness of the lies and omissions and their effect on the FBI's investigation,
the Office charged Papadopoulos with making false statements to the FBI, in violation of 18 U S C.
5' 1001. Information, United Staresv. George Papadopoulos, No. I:17-cr-182 (D.D.C, Oct. 3,
2017), Doc; 8, On October 7, 2017, Papadopoulos pleaded, guilty to that charge pursuant to a plea
agreement, On September 7, 2018, he was sentenced to 14 days of imprisonment, a $9,500 line,
and 200 hours of community service.

iii. Mic/iae/ Flynn

Michael Flynn agreed to be interviewed by the FBI on January 24, 2017, four days after he
had officially assumed his duties as National Security Advisor to the President. During the
interview, Flynn made several false statements pertaining to his communications with the Russian
ambassador.

First, Flynn made two false statements about his conversations with Russian Ambassador
ICislyak in late December 2016, at a time when the United States had imposed sanctions on Russia
for interfering with the 2016 presidential election and Russia was considering its response. See
Flynn Statement of Offense. Flynn told the agents that he did not ask Kislyak to refrain from
escalating the situation in response to the United States's imposition of sanctions. That statement
was false. On December 29, 2016, Flynn oalled Kislyak to request Russian resiraint. Flynn made
the call immediately after speaking to a senior Transition Team official (K.T. McFarland) about
what to communicate to Kislyak. Flynn then spoke with McFarland again after the Kislyak call to
report on the substance of that conversation. Flynn also falsely told the FBI that he did not
remember a follow-up conversation in which Kislyak stated that Russia had chosen to moderate
its response to the U.S. sanctions as a result of Flynn's request, On December 31, 2016, Flynn in
fact had such a conversation with Kislyak, and he again spoke with McFarland within hours of the
call to relay the substance of his conversation with Kislyak. See Flynn Statement of Offense g 3.

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U,S. Department of Justice

Second, Flynn made false statements about calls he had previously made to representatives
of Russia and other countries regarding a resolution submitted by Egypt to the United Nations
Security Council an December 21, 2016. Specifically, Flynn stated that he only asked the
countries' positions on how they would vote on the resolution and that he did not request that any
of the countries take any particular action on the resolution. That statement was false, On
December 22, 2016, Flynn called Kislyak, informed him of the incoming, Trump Administration's
apposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution. Flynn
also falsely stated that Kislyak never described Russia's response to his December 22 request
regarding the resolution. Kislyak in fact told Flynn in a conversation on December 23, 2016, that
Russia would not vote against the resolution if it came to a vote. See Flynn Statement of Offense
$4.

Flynn made these false statements to the FBI at a time when he was serving as National
Security Advisor and when the FBI had an open investigation into Russian interference in the 2016
presidential election, including the nature of any links between the Trump Campaign and Russia,
Flynn's false statements and omissions impeded and otherwise had a mater'isl impact on that
ongoing investigation, Flynn Statement of Offense $$ 1-2. They also came shortly before Flynn
made separate submissions to the Department of Justice, pursuant to FARA, that also contained
materially false statements and amissions. Id P 5. Based onthetatalityof thatconduct,the Office
decided to charge Flyrm with making false statements to the FBI, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
g 1001(a), On December 1, 2017, and pursuant to a plea agreement, Flynn pleaded guilty to that
charge and also admitted his false statements to the Department in his PARA fili'ng. See id; Plea
Agreement, United States v. Mtchttel T. Flynn, No. I;17-cr-232 (D.D,C,.Dec. I, 201TI, Doc, 3.
Flynn is awaiting sentencing,

iv. Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen was the executive vice president and special counsel to the Trump
Organization when Trump was president of the Trump Organization. Information $1, United
States v. Cohen„No, I;18-or-850 (S.D.N.Y. Nov, 29, 2018), Dao. 2 ("Cohen Information"). From
the fail of 2015 thmugh approximately June 2016, Cohen was involved in a project to build a
Trump-branded tawer and adjoining development in Moscow. The projeot was known as Trump
Tower Moscow.

In 2017, Cohen was called to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence (HPSCI) snd the Senate Selec't Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), both of which were,
investiganng Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election snd possible links between
Russia and the presidential campaigns. In late August 2017, in advance of his testimony, Cohen
caused a two-page statement to be sent to SSCI and HPSCI addressing Trump Tower Moscow,
Cohen Information 'f[$ 2-3. The letter contained three representations relevant here. First, Cahen
stated that the Trump Moscow project had ended in January 2016 and that he had briefed candidate
Trump on the project only three times before making the unilateral decision to terminate it.
Second„Cohen represented that he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the project
and never considered asking Trump to travel for the project. Third, Cohen stated that he did not
recall any Russian government contact about the project, including any response to an email that

195
U.S, Department of Justice

he had sent to a Russian governm


ent email account. Cohen Information $ 4. Cohen later asked
that his two-page statement be incorporated into his testimony's transcript before SSCI, and he
ultimately gave testimony ta SSCI that was consistent with that statement. CohenInformation $ 5.

Each of the foregoing representations in Cohen's twa'-page statement was false and
misleading. Consideration of the project had extended through approximately June 2016 and
included more than three progress reports from Cohen to Trump, Cohen had discussed with Felix
Sater his own travel to Russia as part of the project, and he had inquired about the possibility of
Trump traveling there — bath with the candidate himself and with seniar campaign official Corcy
Lewandowski. Cohen did recall that he had received a i esponse to the email that he sent to Russian
government spokesman Dmitry Peskov — in particular, that he received an email reply and had a
follow-up phone conversation with an English-speaking assistant to Peskov in mid-January 2016.
Cohen Information $ 7, Cohen knew the statements in the letter to be false at the time, and
admitted that hc made them in an effort (I) to minimize the links between the project and Trump
(who by this time was President), and (2) to give the false impression that the project had ended
before the first vote in the Republican Party primary process, in the hopes of limiting the ongoing
Russia investigations. Jd.

Given the nature of the false statements and thc fact that he repeated them during his initial
interview with the Office, we charged Cohen with violating Section 1001, On November 29, 2018,,
Cohen pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to a smgle-count information charging him
with making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, in
violatian af 18 U,S,C. ) 1001(a)(2) and (c). Cohen Information. The case was transferred to the
district judge presiding over the separate prosecution of Cohen pursued by the Southern District
of New York (affer a referral fram our Office). On December 7, 2018, this Office submitted a
letter to that judge recommending that Cohen's cooperation with our investigation be taken into
account in sentencing Cohen on both the false-statements charge and the offenses in the Southern
District prosecution. On December 12, 2018, the judge sentenced Cohen to two months of
imprisonment an the false-statements count, to run concurrently with a 36-month sentence
imposed on the other counts.
U.S. Department of Justice

• •

• • •

• • •

vi. Jeff Sessions

As set forth in Volume I, Section IV.A.6, supra, the investigation established that„while a
U.S, Senator and a Trump Campaign advisor, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions interacted
with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the week of the Republican National Convention in July
2016 and again at a meeting in Sessions's Senate office in September 2016. The, investigation also
established that Sessions and Kislyak both attended a reception held before candidate Trump's

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U.S. Department of Justice

foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., in April 2016, and that it is
possible that they met briefly at that reception.

The Office ronsidered whether, in light of these interactions, Sessions committed perjury
before, or made false statements to, Congress in connection with his confirmation as Attorney
General. hi January 2017 testimony during his confirmation hearing, Sessions stated in response
to a question about Trump Campaign communications with the Russian government that he had
"been called a surrogate at a time or two in that oampaign and I didn't have — did not have
communications with the Russians,"' In writ'ten responses submitted on January 17, 2017, Sessions
answered "[n]o" to a question asking whether he had "been in contact with anyone connected to
any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day,"
And, in a March 2017 supplement to his testimony, Sessions identified two of the campaign-period
contacts with Ambassador Kislyak noted above, which had been reported in the media following
the January 2017 confirmation hearing. Sessions stated in the supplem'ental response that he did
"not recall any discussions with the Russian Ambassador, or any other representatives of the
Russian government, regarding the political campaign on these occasions or any other occasion."

Although the investigation established that Sessions interacted with Kislyak on the
occasions described above and that Kislyak mentioned the presidential campaign on at least one
occasion, the evidence is not sufficient to prove that Sessions gave knowingly false answers to
Russia-related questions in light of the wording and context of those questions, With respect to
Sessions* s statements that he did "not recall any discussions with the Russian Ambassador.. .
regarding the political campaign" and he had not been in contact with any Russian official "about
the 2016 election," the evidence conce
rning thcna ture of Sessions's inter'actions with Kislyak
makes it plausible that Sessions did not recall discussing the campaign with Kislyak at the time of
his statements. Similarly, while Sessions stated in his January 2017 oral testimony that he '*did
not have communications with Russians," he did so in response to a question that had linked such
communications to an alleged "continuing exchange of i nformation" between the Truinp
Campaign and Russian government intermediaries, Sessions later explained to the Senate and to
the Office that he understood the question as narrowly calling for disclosure of interactions with
Russians that involved the exchange of campaign information, as distinguished from more routine
contacts with Russian nationals. G iven the context in which the question was asked, that
understanding is plausible.

Accordingly, the Offiice concluded that the ciddence was insufficient to prove that Ses'sions
was willfully untruthful in his answers and thus insufficient to obtain or sustain a conviction for
perjury or false statements, Consistent with the principles of Federal prosecution, the OIIIce
therefore determined not to pursue charges against Sessions and informed his counsel of that
decision in March 2018.

vii. Others 1nterviewed During the 1nvestigation

The Office considered whether, during the course of the investigation„other individuals
interviewed either omitted material information or provided information determined to be false.
Applymg thc Principles of Federal Prosecution, the Office did not seek criminal charges against
any individuals other than those listed above, I n some instances, that decision was due to

19B
U.S. Department of Justice

evidentiary hurdles to proving falsity. In others, the Office determined that the witness ultimately
provided truthful information and that considerations of culpability, deterrence, and resource-
reservation wei hed a i nst rosecution. See Justice Manual 9- 2 7.220 9-27.230.

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U.S. Departtnent of Justice

Report On The Investigation Into


Russian Interference In The
2016 Presidential Election

Volume II of II

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III

Subntftted Pursuant ta 28 C.F Jt. $ 600. 8(e)

Washington, D.C.

March 2019
U.S. Department of Justice

TABLE OF CONTENTS — VOLIJMK II

INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME II .

E XECUTIVE SUMM A RY TO VOLUME II...

I. BACKGROUND LEGAL AND EVIDENTIARY PRINCIPLES ..


..

A. Legal Framework af Obstruction of Justice,.............


B. Investigative and Evidentiary Considerations............
II. FACTUAL RESULTS OF THE OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION, ... 1 5
A. The Campaign's Response to Reports About Russian Suppart for Trump ................. 15
1, Press Reports Allege Links Between the Trump Campaign and Russ',............. 16
2. The Trump Campaign Reacts to WikiLeaks's Release of Hacked Emails........... 17
3. The Trump Campaign Reacts to Allegations That Russia was Seeking to
Aid Candidate Trump . ... .,...,. „ .. 1 8
4. After the Election, Trump Continues to Deny Any Contacts or
Connections with Russia ar That Russia Aided his Election................................ 21
B. The President's Conduct Concerning the Investigation of Michael Flynn ................. 24
1. Incoming National Security Advisor Flynn Discusses Sanctians on Russia
with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak ........... 24
2. President-Elect Trump is Briefed on the Intelligence Community's
Assessment of Russian Interference in the Election and Congress Opens
Election-Interference Investigations . 27
3. Flynn Makes False Statements About his Communications with Kislyak to
Incoming Administration Officials, the Media, and the FBI ........,.........,...,......... 29
4. DOJ Officials Notify the White House of Their Concerns About Flynn ............. 31
5. McGahn has a Follow-Up Meeting About Flynn with Yates; Pt'esident
Trump has Dinner with FBI Director Comey .. .32
6 . Flynn's Resignation . . . „ .....,.............. ......., ......,.... . . . . . . . .....,........... 36
7. The President Discusses Flynn with FBI Director Camey .....,..„...................,...., 38
8. The Media Raises Questions About the President's Delay in Terminating
Flynn. 41
9. The President Attempts to Have K.T. McFarland Create a Witness
Statement Denying that he Directed Flynn*s Discussions with Kislyak .............. 42
C. The President's Reaction to Public Confirmation of the FBI's Russia
Investigation. ....., ... 48
1. Attorney General Sessions Recuses From the Russia Investigation........,............ 48
U.S. Department of Justice.

2. FBI Director Comey Publicly Confirms the Existence of the Russia


Investigation in Testimony Before HPSCI ..............................................
3, The President Asks Intelligence Community Leaders to Make Public
Statements that he had No Connection to Russia
4. The President Asks Comcy to "Lift the Cloud" Created by the Russia
Investigation ..
D. Events Leading Up To and Surrounding the Termination of FBI Director
Comcy . 62
1. Camey Testifies Before thc Senate Judiciary Committee and Declines to
Answer Questions About Whether the President is Under Investigation ............. 62
2. The President Makes the Decision to Terminate Comcy..............,....................... 64
E. The President's Efforts to Remove the Special Counsel.........,....„............................. 77
1. The Appointment of the Special Counsel and the President's Reaction .............. 78
2. The President Asserts that the Special Counsel has Conflicts of Interest............. 80
3. The Press Reports that the President is Being Investigated for Obstruction
of Justice and the President Directs the White House Counsel to Have the
Special Counsel Removed .84
F. The Presi'dent's Efforts to Curtail the Special Couiisel Investigation 90
1. The President Asks Corey Lewandowski to Deliver a Message to Sessions
to Curtail the Special Counsel Investigation.. .90
2. The President Follows Up with Lewandowski ....,.„... .92
3. The President Publicly Criticizes Sessions in a New York Times Interview....... 93
4. The President Orders Priebus to Demand Sessions's Resignation.................„,... 94
G. The President's Efforts to Prevent Disclosure of Emails About the June 9
2016 Meeting Between Russians and Senior Campaign Officials......................
I, The President Learns About the Existence of Emails Concerning the June
9, 2016 Trump Tower Meeting.
2. The President Directs Communications Staff Not to Publicly Disclose
Information About the June 9 Meeting. 100
3. The President, Directs Trump Jr.'s Response to Press Inquiries About the
June 9 Meeting.. 101
4. The Media Reports on the June 9, 2016 Meeting .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
H. The President's Furthei Efforts to Have the Attorney General Take Over
the Investigation. .107
1. The President Again Seeks to Have Sessions Reverse his Recusal.......,. .107
2. Additional Efforts to Have Sessions Unrecuse or Direct Investigati'ons
Covered by his Recusal.......................................... .109
U.S. Department of Justice

I. The President Orders McGahn to Deny that the President Tried to Fire the
Special Counsel .. . 113
1, The Press Reports that the President Tried to Fire thc Special Counsel............. 11'3
2. The President Seeks to Have McGahn Dispute the Press Reports ..........,.......... 114
J. ThePresidcnt's Conduct Towards Flynn, Manafort,g g ~ .... „ .......................... 120
1. Conduct Directed at Michael Flynn 120
2. Conduct Ditected at Paul Manafort ... . 122
• • • •

. 128
K. The President's Conduct Involving Michael Cohen .. 134
1. Candidate Trump's Awareness of and Involvement in the Trump Tow'er
Moscow Project .....................,......................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . .
134
2. Cohen Determines to Adhere to a Party Line" Distancing Candidate
Trump From Russia ... 13g
3. Cohen Submits False Statements to Congress Minimizing the Trump
Tower Moscow Project in Accordance with the Party Linc ..................,. ... 139
4. The President Sends Messages of Support to Cohen...............,.............,.
5. Thc President's Conduct After Cohen Began Caoperating with the
Government..., ........,..........
L. Ovetarching Factual Issues .... 156
III. LEGAL DEFENSES TO THE APPLICATION OF OBSTRUCTION-OF-JUSTICE STATUTES TO THE
PRESIIIENT.. 159
A. Statutory Defenses to the Applicatian of Obstruction-Of-Justice Provisions
t o the Conduct Under Investigation ..................., ..... , . . 160
1. The Text of Section 1512(c)(2) Prohibits a Broad Range of Obstructive
Acts............ . , . . . . . . . . .

2. Judicial Decisions Support a Broad Reading af Section 1512(c)(2) .............


3. The Legislative History of Section 1512(c)(2) Does Nat Justify Narrowing
Its Text.. 164
4. General Principles of Statutory Consultation Do Not Suggest That Section
1512(c)(2) is Inapplicable to the Conduct in this Investigation.................... 165
5. Other Obstruction Statutes Might Apply to the Conduct in this
Investigation... 167
B. Constitutional Defenses to Applying Ohsuuction-Of-Justice Statutes to
Presidential Conduct ..
The Requirement of a Clear Statement to Apply Statutes to Presidential
Conduct Does Not Limit the Obstruction Statutes .........,........................ 169

nl
U.S. Department of Justice

2. Separation-of-Powers Principles Support the Conclusion that Congress


May Validly Prohibit Corrupt Obstructive Acts Carried Out Through the
President's Official Powers....,...... 171
a. The Supreme Court's Separation-of-Powers Balancing Test Applies In
This Context. . 172
b, The Effect of Obstruction-of-Justice Statutes on the President's
Capacity to Perform His Article II Responsibilities is Limited ............... 173
c. Congress Has Power to Protert Congressional, Grand Jury, and Judicial
Proceedings Against Corrupt Acts from Any Source .............................. 176
3. Ascertaining Whether the President Violated the Obstruction Statutes
Would bint Chill his Performance of his Article II Duties ...,.......................
IV. CoNcr.ustort... ,182
U.S. Department of Justice

INTRGIIUcTIoiv To VoLUNK II

This repart is submitted to the Attorney General pursuant ta 28 C.F.R. $ 600.8(c), which
states that, "[a]t the conclusion of the Special Caunsel's work, he.. . shall provide thc Attorney
General a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions [the Spe~ial
Counsel] reached."

Beginning in 2017, the President of the United States took a variety af actions towards the
ongoing FBI investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and i elated
matters that raised questions about whether he had obstructed justice. The Order appointing the
Special Counsel gave this Office jurisdiction to investigate matters that arose directly from the
FB1's Russia investigation, including whether the President had obstructed justice in connection
with Russia-related investigations. The Special Counsel's jurisdiction also covered potentially
obstructive acts related to the Special Counsel's investigation itself. This Volume of our report
summarizes our obstruction-of justice investigation of the President.

We first describe the considerations that guided our obstruchon-of justice investigation,
and then provide an overview of this Volume:

First, a traditional prasecutian or declination decision entails a binary determination to


initiate or decline a prosecution, but we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial
judgment. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has issued an opinion finding that "the indictment
or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the
executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions" in v iolation of " t he
constitutianal separation of powers." Given the rale of the Special Counsel as an attorney in the
Department of Justice and the tramework of the Special Counsel regulations,see 28 U,S.C. tj 515;
28 C.F.R. ti 600.7(a), this Office accepted OLC's legal conclusion far the purpose of exercising
prosecutorial jurisdiction. And apart from OLC's constitutional view, we recognized that a federal
criminal accusation against a sitti'ng Pt'esident would place burdens on the President's capacity to
govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct.

Second, while the OLC opinion concludes that a sitting President may not be prosecuted,
it recognizes that a criminal investigation during the President's term is permissible.s The OLC
opinion also recognizes that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.4 And if
individuals other than the President committed an obstmction offense, they may be prosecuted at
this time. Given those considerations,, the facts known to us, and the strong public interest in

' 2 Sitting President's Amenatntity to Indictment ond Criminal Prosecution,24 Op. O.L.C. 222,
222, 260 (2000) (OLC Op.).
See U.S. COIIST. Art. 1 I 2, cl. 5; I 3, cl. 6; cj OLC Op. at 257-258 (discussing relationshiP
between impeachment and criminal prosecution of a sitting President).
' OLC Op. at 257 n.36 ("A grand jury could continue to gather evidence throughout the period of
immunity" ).
" OLC Op. at 255 (" Recognizing an immunity from prosecution for a sitting President would not
preclude such pmsecution once the President's tenn is over or he is otherwise removed from office by
resignation or impeachment'*).
U.S. Department of Justice

safeguarding the integrity of the criminal justice system, we conducted a thorough factual
investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary
materials were available.

Third, we considered whether to, evaluate the conduct we investigated under the Justice
Manual standards governing prosecution and declination decisions, but we determined not to apply
an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the president committed crimes. The
threshold step under the Justice Manual standards is to assess whether a person's conduct
"constitutes a federal offense." U.S. Dep't of Justice, Justice Manual 5 9-27.220 (2018] (Justice
Manual). Fairness concerns counseled against potentially reaching that judgment when no charges
can be brought. The ordinary means for an individual to respond to an accusation is through a
speedy and public trial,. with all the procedural protections that surround a criminal case. An
individual who believes he was wrongly accused ean use that process to seek to clear his name. In
contrast, a prosecutor's judgment that crimes were committed, but that no charges will be brought,
affords no such adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator,s

The concernsabout the fairness of such a determination would be heightened in the case
of a sitting President, where a federal prosecutor's accusation of a crime, even in an internal report,
could carry consequences that extend beyond the realm of criminal justice. OLC noted similar
concerns about scaled indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President's term,
OLC reasoned, "it would be very difficult to preserve [an indictment's] secrecy,' * and if an
indictment became public, "[t]he stigma and opprobrium" could imperil the President's ability to
govern."s Although a prosecutor*s internal report would not represent a formal public accusation
akin to an indictment, the possibility of the report's public disclosure and the absence of a neutral
adjudicatory forum to review its findings counseled against potentially determining "that the
person*s conduct constitutes a federal offense." Justice Manual tj 9-27220.

Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President
clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the
applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment, The evidence we
obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from
conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does
not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

This report on our investigation consists of four parts. Section I provides an overview of
obstruction-of-justice principles and summarizes certain i nvestigatory and e videntiary
considerations. Section II sets forth the factual results of oui obstruction investigation and
analyzes the evidence. Section Ill addresses statutory and constitutional defenses. Section IU
statesour conclusion.

' For that reason, criticisms have been lodged against the practice of naming unindicted co-
conspirators in an indictment, See United States v. Jtriggs, 514 F.2d 794, 802 (5th Cir. 1975) ('"The courts
have struck down with strong language efforts by grand juries to accuse persons of crime while affording
them no forum in which to vindicate themselves."); see also Justice Manual $ 9-1 L130.
OLC Op. at 259 k n38 (citagon omitted).
U.S. Department of Justice

KxEcliTIYE SUMMARY To VGLUME II

Our obstruction-of justice inquiry focused on a series of actions by the President that
related to the Russian-interference investigations, including the President's conduct towards the
law enforcement officials overseeing the investigations and the witnesses to relevant events.

FAcTUAL REEULTs oF THE OEETRUcTIorr ItvvEsTIGATtoiv

The key issues and events we examined include the following:

The Campaign's response toreports about Russian support for Trump. During the 2016
presidential campaign, questions arose abaut the Russian government's apparent support for
candidate Trump. After WikiLeaks released politically damaging Democratic Party emails that
were reported to have been hacked by Russia, Trump publicly expressed skepticism that Russia
was responsible for the hacks at the same time that he and other Campaign officials privately
sought information • '' ' about any further planned WikiLeaks
releases. Trump also enied having any business in or connections to Russia, even though as late
as June 2016 the Trump Organization had been pursuing a licensing deal for a skyscraper to be
built in Russia called Trump Tower Moscow. Aller the election, the President expressed concerns
to advisars that rrparts of Russia's electian interference might lead the public to question the
leg'timacy of his election.

Conduct involving FRJ Director Comey uud Jtdtchuel Flynn. In mid-January 2017,
incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn falsely denied ta the Vice President, other
administration officials, and FBI agents that he had talked to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak
about Russia's response to U.S. sanctions on Russia for its election interference. On January 27,
the day after the President was told that Flynn had lied to the Vice President and had made similar
statements to the FBI, the Piesident invited FBI Director Comey to a private dinner at the White
House and told Comey that he needed loyalty. On February 14, the day alter the President
requested Flynn's resignation, the President told an outside advisor, "Now that we tired Flynn, the
Russia thing is over." The advisor disagreed and said the investigations would continue,

Later that aflernoo, the President cleared the Oval Office to have a one-on-one meeting
with Camey. Referring to the FBI's investigation of Flynn, the President said, "I hope you can
see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. Hc is a good guy. I hope you can let this
go." Shortly after requesting Flynn's resignation and speaking privately to Comey, the President
sought to have Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFai land draft an internal letter stating
that the President had not directed Flynn to discuss sanctians with Kislyak. McFarland declined
because she did not know whether that was true, and a White House Counsel's Office attorney
thought that the request would look like a quid pro quo for an ambassadorship she had been offered.

The Preshleut's reucgou to the continuing Russia investigation. In February 2017,


Attorne
y General Jeff Sessions began ta assess whether he had to recuse himself from campaign-
related investigations because of his role in the Trump Campaign, In early March, the President
told White House Counsel Donald McGahn to stop Sessions &am recusing. And after Sessions
announced his recusal on March 2„ the President expressed anger at thc decision and told advisors
that he should have an Attorney General who would protect him. That weekend, the President
took Sessions aside at an event and urged him to "unrecuse."' Later in March, Comey publicly
U.S. Department of Justice

disclosed at a congressional hearing that the FBI was mvestigating "the Russian government's
efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," including any links or coordination between
the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. In the following days, the President reached
out to the Director of National Intelligence and the leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) to ask them what they could do to publicly dispel
the suggestion that the President had any connectian to the Russian election-interference effort.
The President also twice called Comey directly, notwithstanding guidance from McGahn to avoid
direct contacts w'ith the Department of Justice. Comey had previously assured the President that
*
the FBI was not investigating him personally, and the President asked Camey to "lifl the cloud'
of the Russia investigation by saying that publicly.

The President's termination of Comey. On M a y 3 , 2 017, Comey testified in a


congressional hearing, but dechned to answer questions about whether the President was
personally under investigation. W i thin days, the President decided to terminate Comey. The
President insisted thdt the termination letter, which was written for public release, state that Comey
had informed the President that he was not under irivestigation. The day of the firing, the White
House maintained that Comey's termination resulted &am independent recommendations from the
Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General that Comey should be discharged for mishandling
the Hillary Clintan email investigation. But the President had dccidcd to fire Comey before
hearing from the Department of Justice. The day after firing Comey, the President tald Russian
afflcials that he had "faced great pressure because of Russia," which had been "taken afV' by
Comey's firing. Thc next day, the, Pmsident acknowledged in a television interview that he was
going to fire Comcy regardless of the Department of Justice's recommendation and that when he
"decided to just do it," he was thinking that "this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."
In response to a question about whether he was angry with Comey about the Russia investigation,
the Piesident said„"As far as I'm concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly,"
adding that firing Camey "might even lengthen out the investigation."

The appointment of o Special Connsel and efforts to remove him. On May 17, 2017, the
Acting Attorney General for the Russia inves'tigation appointed a Special Counsel to coriduct the
investigation and related matters. The President reacted to news that a Special Counsel had been
appointed by telling advisors that it was "the end of his presidency" and demanding that Sessions
resign. Sessions submitted his resignation, but the President ultimately did not accept it. The
President told aides that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and suggested that the Special
Counsel therefore cauld not serve. The President's advisors told him the asserted conflicts were
meritless and had already been considered by the Department of Justice.

On June 14, 2017, the media reported that the Special Counsel's Offlce was investigating
whether the President had obstructed justice. Press reports called this "a major turning point" in
the investigation: while Comey had told the President he was not under investigation, following
Comey's firing, the President naw was under investigation. The President reacted to this news
with a series of tweets criticizing the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel*s
investigation. On June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn at home and diiected him to call
the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be
removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather
than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre.
U.S. Department of Jusfice

Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel's investigation. Two days afier directing McGahn
to have the Special Counsel removed, the President made another attempt to affect the course of
the Russia investigation. On June 19,2017, the President met one-on-one in the Oval Office with
his former campaign manager Corey Lcwandowski, a uusted advisor outside the govcrnmen, and
dictated a message for Lewandowski to deliver to Sessions. The message said that Sessions should
publicly announce that, notwithstanding his recusal from the Russia investigation, the investigation
was "very unfair" to the President, the President had done nothing wrong, and Sessions planned to
meet with the Special Counsel and "let [him] move forward with investigating election meddling
for future elections." Lewandowski said he understood what the President wanted Sessions to do.

Onc month later, in another private ineeting with Lewandowski on July 19, 2017, the
President asked about the status of his message for Sessions to limit the Special Counsel
investigation to future election interference. Lewandowski told the President that the message
would bc delivered soon. Hours afier that meeting, the President publicly criticized Sessions in an
interview with the New York Times, and then issued a series of tweets making it cleat that
Sessions's job was in jeopardy. Lewandowsld did not want to deliver the President's message
personally, so hc asked senior White House official Rick Dearborn to deliver it to Sessions.
Dearborn was uncomfortable with the task and did not follow through.

Efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence. In the summer of 2017, the President
learned that media outlets were asking questions about the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower
between senior campaign officials, hicluding Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer who was
said to be offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its
government's support for Mr. Trump." On several occasions, the President directed aidesnot to
publicly disclose the emails setting up the June 9 meeting, suggesting that the cmails would not
leak and that the number of lawyers with access to them should be limited. Before the emails
became public, the President edited a press statement for Trump Jr. by deleting a line that
acknowledged that the meeting was with "an individual who [Trump Jr.] was told might have
information helpfiil to the campaign and instead said only that the meeting was about adoptions
of Russian children. When the press asked questions about thc President's involvement in Trump
Jr.'s statement, the President's personal lawyer repeatedly denied the President had played any
role.

Further efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation. In early
summer 2017, the President called Sessions at home and again asked hiin to reverse his recusal
from the Russia investigation. Sessions did not reverse his recusal. In October 2017, the President
mct privately with Sessions in the Oval Office and asked him to "take [a] look" at investigating
Clinton. I n D ecember 2017, shortly after Flynn pleaded guilty pursuant to a cooperation
agreement, the President met with Sessions in the Oval Office and suggested, according to notes
taken by a senior advisor, that if Sessions unrecused and took back supervision of the Russia
investigation, he would be a "hero." The President told Sessions, *'I'm not going to do anything
or direct you to do anything. I just want to be treated fairly." In response, Sessions volunteered
that he had never seen anything "improper" on the campaign and told the President there was a
"whole new leadershipteam" in place. He did not unrecuse.

Efforts to have hfcGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special
Counsel removed. In early 2018, the press reported that the President had directed McGahn to
U.S, Department of Justice

have the Special Counsel removed in June 2017 and that McGahn had threatened to resign rather
than carry out the order. The President reacted to the news stories by directing White House
officials to tell McGahn to dispute thc story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to
have the Special Counsel removed. McGahn told those officials that the media reports were
accurate in stating that the, President had direrted McGahn to have thc Special Counsel removed.
The President then met with McGahn in the Oval Office and again pressured him to deny thc
reports. In the same meeting, the Pi'esident also asked McGahn why he had told the Special
Counsel about the President's effort to remove the Special Counsel and why McGahn took notes
ofhis conversations with the President. McGahn refused to back away from what he remembered
happening and perceived the President to be testing his mettle.

Condacttowards Flynn, Manufori,g+ +~. After Flyim withdrew from ajoint defense
agreement with the President and began cooperating with th'e government, the President's personal
counsel left a message for Flynn's attorneys reminding them of the President's warm feelings
towai'ds Flynn, which he said "still iemains," and asking for a "heads up" if Flynn knew
"information that implicates the President." When Flynn's counsel reiterated that Flynn rould no
longer share information pursuant to a joint defense agreement, the President's personal counsel
said he would make sure that the President knew that Flynn's actions reflected "hostility" towards
the President. D uring Manafort's prosecution and when the jury in his criminal tr'ial was
deliberating, the President praised Manafort in public, said that Manafort was being treated
unfairly, and declined to rule out a pardon. Atter Manafort was convicted, the President called
Manafort "a brave man" for refusin t o "break" and said that "fli i n " " almost ou ht to be
outlawed,"

Condaci irivoiving Michael Cohen. Thc President's conduct towards Michael Cohen, a
foimer Trump Organization executive, changed fiom praise for Cohen when he falsely minimized
the President's involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow project, to castigation of Cohen when
he became a cooperating witness. From September 2015 to June 2016, Cohen had pursued the
Trump Tower Moscow project on behalf of the Trump Organization and had briefed candidate
Trump on thc project numerous times, including discussing whether Trump should traveJ to Russia
to advance the deal. In 2017, Cohen provided false testiinony to Congress about the project,
including stating that he had only briefed Trump on the project three times and never discussed
travel to Russia with him, in an effort to adhere to a "parly line*' that Cohen said was developed to
minimize the President's connections to Russia. While preparing for his rongressional testimony,
Cohen had extensive discussions with thc President's personal counsel, who, according to Cohen,
said that Cohen should "stay on message" and not contradict the President. Atter the FBI searched
Cohen's home and office in April 2018, the President publicly asserted that Cohen would not
"flip," contacted him directly to tell him to "stay strong," and privately passed messages of support
to him. Cohen also discussed pardons with the President's personal counsel and believed that if
he stayed on message he would be taken care of. But after Cohen began cooperating with the
government in the summer of 2018, the President publicly criticized him, called him a "rat," and
suggested that his family members had committed crimes.
U.S. Department of Justice

Overurefrlng factual issles. We did not make a traditional prosecution decision about
these facts, but the evidence we obtained supports several general statements about the President's
c oil duct.

Several features of the conduct we investigated distinguish it from typical obstruction-of-


justire cases. First, the investigation concerned the President, and some of his actions, such as
firing the FBI director, involved facially lawful acts within his Article II authority, which raises
constitutional issues discussed below. At the same time, the President's position as the head of
the Executive Branch provided him with unique and powerful means of influencing official
proceedings, subordinate officers, and potential witnesses —all of which is relevant to a potential
obstruction-of justice analysis. Second, unlike cases inwhich a subject engages in obstruction of
justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the President was
involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference. Although the obstruction
statutes do not require proof of such a crime, the absence of that evidence affects the analysis of
the President's intent and requires consideration of other possible motives for his conduct. Third,
many of the President's acts directed at witnesses„ including discouragement of cooperation with
the government and suggestions of possible future pardons, took place in public view. That
circumstance is unusual, but no principle of law excludes public acts from the reach of the
obstruction laws. If the likely effect of public acts is to influence witnesses or alter their testimony,
the harm to the justice system's integrity is the same.

Although the series of events we investigated involved discrete acts, the overall pattern of
the President" s conduct towards the investigations can shed light on the nature of the President's
acts and the. inferences that can be drawn about his intent. In particulw; the actions we investigated
can be divided into two phases, ret)ecting a possible shift in the President's motives. The first
phase covered the period from the President's first interactions with Comey through the President's
firing of Comey. During that time, the President had been repeatedly told he was not personally
under investigation. Soon atter the firing of Comey and the appointment of the Special Counsel,
however, the President became aware that his own conduct was being investigated in an
obstruction-of justice inquiry. At that point, the President engaged in a second phase of conduct,
involving public attacks on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in both
public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate with the investigation. Judgments about
the nature of thc President's motives during each phase would be informed by the totality of the
evidence.

STATIITQRY AND CoNKTITUTIoNAL IJKKKNKKS

The President's counsel raised statutory and constitutional defenses to a possible


obstruction-of justice analysis of the conduct we investigated. We concluded that none of those
legal defenses provided a basis foi' declining to investigate the facts.

Srararory defenses. Consistent with precedent and the Department of Justice's general
approach to interpreting obstruction statutes, we concluded that several statutes could apply here.
See 18 U.S,C. 8 1503, 1505, 1512(b)(3), 1512(c)(2). Section 1512(c)(2) is an omnibus
obstruction-of justice provision that covers a range of obstructive acts directed at pending or
contemplated official proceedings. No principle of statutory construction justifies narrowing the
provision to cover only conduct that impairs the integrity or availability of evidence. Sections
1503 and 1505 also offer broad protection against obstructive acts directed at pending grand jury,
U.S. Department of Justice

judicial, administrative, and congressional proceedings, and they aiv, supplemented by a provision
in Section 1512(b) aimed specifically at conduct intended to pr'event or hinder the communication
to law eiiforcement of infoimation related to a federal crime.

Constitutional defenses. As for constitutional defenses arising from the President's status
as the head of the Executive Branch, we recognized that the Department of Justice and the courts
have not definitively resolved these issues. We therefore examined those issues through the
framework established by Supreme Court precedent governing separation-of powers issues. The
Department of Justice and the President's personal counsel have recognized that the President is
subject to statutes that prohibit obstruction of justice by bribing a witness or suborning perjury
because that conduct does not implicate his constitutional authority. With respect to whether the
President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the
Constitution, we coiic luded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his
authority in order to protect the integrity of the adminisbation of justice.

Under applicable Supreme Court precedent, the Constitution does not categorically and
permanently immunize a President for obstructing justice through the use of his Article II powers.
The separation-of-powers doctrine authorizes Congress to protect official proceedings, including
those of courts and grand juries, froin corrupt, obsbuctive acts regardless of their source. We also
concluded that any inroad on presidential authority that would occur &om prohibiting corrupt acts
docs not undermine the President's ability to fulfill his constitutional mission. T he term
"corruptly" sets a demanding standard. It requires a concrete showing that a person acted with an
intent to obtain an improper advantage for himself or someone else, inconsistent with official duty
and the rights of others. A preclusion of "corrupt" official action does not diminish the President's
ability to exercise Article II powers. For example, the proper supervision of criminal law does not
demand freedom for the President to act with a corrupt intention of shielding himself from criminal
punishment, avoiding financial liability, or preventing personal embarrassment. To the contrary,
a statute that prohibits official action undertaken for such corrupt purposes furthers, rather than
binders, the impartial and evenhanded administration of the law. It also aligns with the President's
constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. FinaHy, we concluded that in the rare case in
which a criminal investigation of the President's conduct is justified, inquiries to determine
whether the President acted for a corrupt motive should not impermissibly chill his performance
of his constitutionally assigned duties. The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction
laws to the President's corrupt exeicise of the powers of oAice accords with our constitutional
system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.

CoNct.ustoiv

Because we detenmned not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw
ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct. T h e evidence we obtained about the
President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were
making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a
thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice,
we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach
that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a
crime, it also does not exonerate him.
U.S. Department of Justice

I. BAcKGRoUND LEGAL AND EVIDENTIARY PRINclPLEs

A. L eg al Framework of Obstruction of Justice

The May 17, 2017 Appointment Order and the Special Counsel regulations provide this
Office with jurisdiction to investigate "federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent
to interfere with„ the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice,
destruction of evidence„and intimidation of witnesses." 28 C.F.R. $ 600.4(a). Because of that
description of our jurisdiction, we sought evidence for our obstruction-of justice investigation with
the elements of obstrurtion offenses in mind. Our evidentiary analysis is similarly focused on the
elements of such offenses, although we do not draw conclusions on the ultimate questions that
govern a prosecutorial decision under the Principles of Federal Prosecution. SeeJustice Manual
$ 9-27.000 et seq. (2018).

Here, we summarize the law interpreting the elements of potentially relrvant obstruction
statutes in an ordinary case. This discussion does not address the unique constitutional issues that
arise in an inquiry into official acts by the President. Those issues are discussed in a later section
of this report addressing constitutional defenses that the President's counsel have raised. See
V olume II, Section III.B, inPa.

Three basic elements are common to most of the relevant obstruction statutes: (I ) an
obstructive act;(2) a nexus betwee'n the obstructive act and an official proceeding; and (3) a corrupt '

intent. See, e.g.,18 U.S.C. $$ 1503, 1505, 1512(c)(2). We describe those elements as they have.
been interpreted by the couits. We then discuss a more specific statute aimed at witness tampering,
see 18 U,S.C. ti 1512(b), and describe the requirements for attempted offenses and endeavors to
obstruct justice, see 18 U.S.C. gg 1503, 1512(c)(2).

fJbstructive act. Ob struction-of justice law "reaches all corrupt conduct capable of
producing an effect that prevents justice Irom being duly administered, regardless of the means
employed." Um ted States v. Stlverman, 745 F.2d 1386, 1393 (11th Cir. 1984) (interpreting 18
U.S.C. ts 1503). An "effort to influence" a proceeding can qualify as an endeavor to obstruct
justice even if the effort was "subtle or circuitous" and "however cleverly or with whatever
cloaking of purpose" it was made. United States v. Jioe, 529 F.2d 629, 632 (4th Cir. 1975); see
aiso United Statesv. Quattrone„441 F3d 153, 173 (2d Cir. 2006). The verbs "'obstruct or impede'
are broad" and "'can refer to anything that blocks, makes difficult, or hinders." /tdarinetto v. United
States, 138 S. Ct. 1101, 1106 (2018) (internal brackets and quotation marks omitted).

An improper motive can render an actor's conduct criminal even when the conduct would
otherwise be lawful and within the actor's authority. See United Statesv, Cueto, 151 F.3d 620,
631 (7th Cir. 1998) (afflrming obstruction conviction of a criminal defense attorney for "litigation-
related conduct" ); United Statesv. Cintoio, 818 F.2d 980, 992 (1st Cir. 1987) ("any act by any
party — whether lawful or unlawful on its face — may abridge ( J1503 if performed with a corrupt
motive").

Ãexus to a pending or contemplated official proceeding. Ob struction-of justice law


generally requires a nexus, or connection, to an official proceeding. In Section 1503, the nexus
mugt be to pending "judicial or grand jury proceedings." United Statesv. Aguilar, 515 U.S. 593,
U.S. Department of Justice

599 (1995). In Section 1505, the nexus can include a connection to a "pending" federal agency
proceeding or a congressional inquiry or investigation, Under both statutes, the government must
demonstrate "a relationship in time„causation, or logic" between the obstructive act and the,
proceeding orinquiry tobe obstructed. Id. at599; see alsoArthur AndersenLLP v. United States,
544 U.S. 696, 707-708 (2005). Section 1512(c) prohibits obstructive efforts aimed at official
proceedings including judicial or grand jury proceedings. 18 U.S.C. Ij 1515(a)(1)(A). "For
purposes of" Section 1512, "an official 'proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted
atthe time ofthe offense." 18U.S.C. $ 1512(f)(1). Although aproceedingneednot already be in
progress to trigger liability under Section 1512(c), a nexus to a contemplated proceeding still must
be shown. United Statesv. young, 916 F.3d 368, 386 (4th Cir..2019); United Statesv. Petruk, 781
F.3d 438, 445 (8th Cir. 2015); United Statesv. Phillips, 583 F.3d 1261, 1264 (10th Cir. 2009);
United States v. Iteich, 479 F.3d 179, 186 (2d Cir. 2007). The nexus requirement narrows the
scope of obstruction statutes to ensure that individuals have "fair warning" of what the law
proscribes. Aguilar, 515 U.S. at 600 (internal quotation marks omitted).

The nexus showing has subjective and objective components. As an objective matter, a
defendant must act "in a manner that is likely to obstruct justice," such that the statute "excludes
defendants who have an evil purpose but use means that would only unnaturally and improbably
be successful." Aguilar, 515 U.S. at 601-602 (emphasis added; internal quotation marks omitted).
"[T]he endeavor must have the natural and probable effect of i nterfering with the due
administration of justice." Id a t 599 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). A s a
*'
subjective matter, the actor must have "contemplated a particular, foreseeable proceeding.
Petruk, 781 F.3d at 445-446.. A defendant need not directly impede the proceeding. Rather, a
nexus exists 'if "discretionary actions of a third person would be required to obstruct the judicial
proceeding if it was foreseeable to the defendant that the third parly would act on the [defendant's]
communication m such a way as to obstruct the judicial proceeding." United Statesv. Martinez,
862 F.3d 223, 238 (2d Cir. 2017) (brackets, ellipses, and internal quotation marks omitted).

Corruptly. The word "corruptly" provides the intent element for obstructionofj ustice and
means acting "knowingly and dishonestly" or 'With an improper motive." Un ited Statesv.
It tchardson, 676 F.3d 491, 508 (5th Cir. 2012); United Statesv, Gordon, 710 F.3d 1124, 1151
(10th Cir. 2013) (to act corruptly means to "act[] with an improper purpose and to engage in
conduct knowingly and dishonestly with the specific intent to subvert, impede or obstruct" the
relevant proceeding) (some quotation marks omitted); see 18 U.S.C. $ 1515(b) (" As, used in section
1505, the term 'corruptly' means acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing
another. *'); see also Arthur Andersen„544 U.S. at 705-706 (interpreting "corruptly*' to mean
"wrongful, immoral, depraved, or evil" and holding that acting "knowingly . . . corruptly" in 18
U.S.C. $ 1512(b) requires ",consciousness of wrongdoing" ). The requisite showing is made when
a person acted with an intent to obtain an "improper advantage for [him]self or someone else,,
inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others." BALLENTINE'S LAW DICTIQNARY 276 (3d
ed. 1969); see United States v. Pasha, 797 F.3d 1122, 1132 (D.C. Cir. 2015);Aguilar„515 U.S. at
616 (Sealia, J., concuning in part and dissenting in part) (characterizing this definition as the
"longstanding and well-accepted meaning" of "cori uptly").

%Itness tatnpering. A more specific provision in Section 1512 prohibits tampering with a
witness. See18 U.S.C. I) 1512(b)(1), (3) ( m
akingitscrimeto "k
n owinglyuse[] intimidation . . .
or corruptly persuade[] another person," or "engage[] in misleading conduct towards another

10
U.S; Department of Justice

person," with the intent to ' *influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official
p roceeding" or to "hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer. . .
of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense"). To
establish cormpt persuasion, it is sufficient that the defendant asked a potential witness to lie to
investigators in contemplation of a likely federal investigation into his conduct. United Statesv.
Edlind, 887 F.3d 166, 174 (4th Cir, 2018); United Statesv. Sparks, 791 F.3d 1188, 1191-1192
(10th Cir. 2015); United Statesv. Byrne, 435 F.3d 16„23-26 (1st Cir. 2006); United States v.
LaShay, 417 F.3d 715, 718-719 (7th Cir. 2005); United Statesv. Burns, 298 F.3d 523, 539-540
(6th Cir. 2002); Urdted Statesv. Pennington, 1 68 F.3d 1060, 1066 (8th Cir. 1999). T h e
"persuasion" need not be coercive, intimidating, or explicit; it is sufficient to "urge," *'induce,"
'"ask[]," "argu[e],'* "giv [e] reasons," Sparks, 791 F.3d at 1192, or "coach[] or remind[] witnesses
by planting misleading facts„'* Edlind, 887 F.3d at 174. Corrupt persuasion is shown "where a
defendant tells a potential witness a false story as if the story were true, intending that the witness
believe the story and testify to it." United Statesv. Rodolitz„786 F.2d 77, 82 (2d Cir. 1986); see
Umted Statesv. Gabriel, 125 F.3d 89, 102 (2d Cir. 1997). It also covers urging a witness to recall
a fact that the witness did not Iotow, even if the fact was actually true. See LaShay,417 F.3d at
719. Corrupt persuasion also ean be shown in certain circumstances when a person, with an
improper motive, urges a witness not to cooperate with law enforcement. See United Statesv.
Shotts, 145 F.3d 1289, 1301 (11th Cr. 1998) (telling Secretary "not to [say] anything [to the FBI]
and [she] would not be bothered").

When the charge is acting with the intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the communication
of information to law enforcement under Section 1512(b)(3), the "nexus'* to a proceeding inquiry
articulated in Aguilar — that an individual have "knowledge that his actions are likely to affect the
judicial proceeding," 515 U.S. at 599 — does not apply because the obstructive act is aimed at the
communication of information to investigators, not at impeding an official proceeding.

Acting "knowingly . . . corruptly" requires proof that the individual was "conscious of
wrongdoing." Arthur Andersen,544 U.S. at 705-706 (declining to explore "[t]he outer limits of
this element" but indicating that an instruction was infirm where it permitted conviction even if
the defendant "honestly and sincerely believed that [the] conduct was lawful" ). It is an affirmative
defense that "the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant' s sole intention
was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully." 18 U.S.C. $ 1512(e).

Attempts and endeavors. Section 1512(c)(2) covers both substantive obstruction offenses
and attempts to obstruct justice. Under general prinriples of attempt law, a person is guilty of an
attempt when he has the intent to commit a substantive offense and takes an overt act that
constitutes a substantial step towards that goal. See United Statesv. Resendiz-Ponce, 549 U.S.
102„106-107 (2007). "[T]he act [must be] substantial, in that it was strongly corroboraflve of the
defendant's criminal purpose." United Statesv. Pratt, 351 F.3d 131, 135 (4th Cir. 2003). While
"mere abstract talk" does not suffice, any "concrete and speciflc" acts that corroborate the
defendant's intent can constitute a "substantial step." United Statesv. Irving, 665 F.3d 1184, 1198-
1205 (10th Cir. 2011). Thus, *'soliciting an innocent agent to engage in conduct constituting an
element of the crime" may qualify as a substantial step. Model Penal Code 5 5.01(2)(g); see United
Statesv. Laeas, 499 F.3d 769, 781 '(8th Cir. 2007).

11
U.S. Department of Justice

The omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. $ 1503 prohibits an "endcavoi" to obstruct justice, which
sweeps more broadly than Section 1512's attempt provision. See United States v. Satnpsan, 898
F.3d 287, 302 {2d Cir. 2018); Umted Statesv. Leisure, 844 F.2d 1347, 1366-1367 (8th Cir. 1988)
(collecting cases). "It is well established that a[n] [obstruction-of justice] offense is complete
when one corruptly endeavors ta obstruct or impede the due administration of justice; the
prosecution need not prove that the due administration of justice was actually obstructed ar
impeded." United States v. Davis,854 F3d 1276, 1292 (11th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation maiks
omitted).

B. Inv estigative and Evidentiary Considerations

After the appointment of the Special Counsel, this Office obtained evidence about the
following events relating to potential issues of obstruction of justice involving the President:

{a) The President's January 27, 2017 dinner with former FBI Director James Camey in which
the President reportedly asked for Comey's loyalty, one day after the White House had
been briefed by the Department of Justice on contacts between former National Security
Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian Ambassador;

(b) The President's February 14, 2017 meeting with Comey in which the President reportedly
asked Comey not ta pursue an investigation of Flynn;

(c) The President*s private requests to Camey to make public the fact that the President was
not the subject of an FBI investigation and to lift what the President regarded as a cloud;

(d) The President's outreach to the Director of National Intelligence and the Directors of the
National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency about the FBI's Russia
investigation;

(e) The President's stated rationales for terminating Comey on May 9, 2017, including
statements that could reasonably be understood as acknowledging that the FBI's Russia
investigation was a factor in Comey's teimination; and

(I) The President's reported involvement in issuing a statement about the June 9, 2016 Trump
Tower meeting between Russians and senior Trump Campaign officials that said the
meeting was about adoption and omitted that the Russians had offered to provide the
Trump Campaign with derogatory information about Hillary Clinton.

Taking into account that information and our analysis af applicable statutory and constitutional
principles (discussed below in Volume II, Section III, inPa), we,determined that there was a
sufficient factual and legal basis to further investigate patential obstruction-of justice issues
involving thc President.

Many of the core issues in an obstruction-of justice investigation turn on an individual's


actions and intent. We therefore requested that the White House pmvide us with documentary
evidence in its possession on the relevant events. We also sought and obtained the White House's
concurrence in aur conducting interviews of White House personnel wha had ielevant information.
And we interviewed other witnesses who had pertinent knowledge, obtained documents an a
U.S. Department of Justice

voluntary basis when possible, and used legal process where appropriate. These investigative steps
allowed us to gather a substantial amount of cadence,

We also sought a voluntary interview with the President. After more than a ear of
discussion, the President dec! ined to be interviewed.

During t e course of our discussions,


the Prcsi ent did agree to answer written questions an certain Russia-related topics, and he
provided us with answers. He did not similarly agree to provide written answers to questions on
obstiuction topics or questions on events during the transition. Uitimately, while wc believed that
we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grandjury subpoena to obtain the President's
testimony, we chose not ta do so. We made that decision in view of the substantial delay that such
an investigative step would likely produce at a late stage in our investigation. We also assessed
that based on the significant body of evidence we had already obtained of the President's actions
and his public and private statements describing or explaining those actions, we had sufficient
evidence ta understand relevant events and to make certain assessmcnts without the President's
testimony. The Office*s decision-making process on this issue is described in more detail in
Appendix C, inPa, in a note that precedes the President's written responses.

In assessing thc evidence we obtained, we relied on common principles that apply in any
investigation. The issue of criminal intent is often inferred from circumstantial evidence. See,
e.g., United States v. Croieou, 819 F.3d 1293, 1305 (11th Cir. 2016) ("[G]uilty knowledge can
rarelybe established by directevidence.... Therefore„mens rea elements such as knowledge or
intent inay be proved by circumstantial evidence,"') (internal quotation marks omitted); United
States v. Robinson, 702 F.3d 22, 36 (2d Cir. 2012') (" The government's case rested on
circumstantial evidence, but the mens reo elements of knowledge and intent can oiten be proved
through circumstantial evidence and the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom.") (internal
quotation marks omitted). The principle that intent can be inferred irom circumstantial evidence
is a necessity in criminal cases, given the right of a subject ta assert his privilege against compelled
self-incriminauon under the Filth Amendment and therefore decline to testify, A ccordingly.
determinations an intent are &equcntly reached without the opportunity to i nterview an
investigatary subject.

Obstruction-of justice cases are consistent with this rule. See, e.g., Edlind, 887 F.3d at
174, 176 (relying on "significant circumstantial evidence that [thc defendant] was conscious ofhcr
wrongdoing" in an obstruction case; "[b]ecause evidence of intent will almost always be
circumstantial, a defendant may be found culpable where the reasonable and forcsccable
consequences of her acts are the obstruction af justice") (internal quotation marks, ellipses, and
punctuation omitted); Quaiirone„441 F.3d at 173-174. Circumstantial evidence that illuminates
intent may include a pattern af potentially obsnuctive acts. Fed. R. Evid, 404(b) (" Evidence of a
c riine, wrong, or other act. . . may be admissible .. . [ta] prov[e] motive, oppoitunity, intent,
preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident."); see, e.g., United
Siares v, Franlrltouser, 80 F.3d 641, 648-650 (1st Cir. 1996);. United States v. Arnold, 773 F.2d
823, 832-834 (7th Cir. 1985); Ciniolo, 818 F.2d at 1000.

Credibility judgments may also be made based on objective facts and circumstantial
evidence. Standard jury instructions highlight a variety of factors that are often relevant in
U,S. Department of Justice

assessing credibility. These include whether a witness had a reason no't to tell the truth; whether
the witness had a good memory; whether the witness had the opportunity to observe the events
about which he testified; whether thc witness's testimony was corroborated by other witnesses;
and whether anything the witness said or wrote previously contradicts his testimony. See, e.g.,
First Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions 1) 1.06 (2018); Fifth Circuit Pattern J'ury Instructions
(Criminal Cases) $ 1.08 (2012)„Seventh Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction $ 3.01 (2012),

In addition to those general factors, we took into account more specific factors in assessing
thc credibility of conflicting accounts o'f the facts. For example, contemporaneous written notes
can provide strong corroborating evidence. SeeUnited States v. Wohles, 422 U.S. 225, 232 (1975)
(thc fact that a "statement appeared in the contemporaneously recorded report. . . would tetid
*
strongly to corroborate the investigator's version of the interview' ). S imilarly, a witness's
recitation of his account betore he had any motive to fabricate also supports the witness's
credibility. See Tome v. United States, 513 U.S. 150, 158 (1995) ("A consistent statement that
predates the motive is a square rebuttal of the charge that the testimony was contrived as a
consequence of that motive.'"). Finally, a witness's false description of an encounter can imply
consciousness of wrongdoing. See Al-Adahi v. Ohama, 613 F.3d 1102, 1107 (D.C. Cir. 2010)
(noting the "well-settled principle that false exculpatory statements are evidence — otten strong
evidence — of guilt" ). We applied those settled legal principles in evaluating the factual results of
our investigation.

14
U.S. Department of Justice

II.FAcTUAL RsnULTs OF THK OBsTRUcTIoN INVKBTIGATIGN

This section of the report details the evidence we obtained. We first provide an overview
of how Russia became an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign„and how candidate Trump
responded, We then turn to the key events that we investigated: the President's conduct concerning
the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn; the President's reaction to public confirmation of the FBI's
Russia investigation„events leading up to and surrounding the tenninanon of FBI Director Comey;
efforts to terminate the Special Counsel; efforts to curtail the scope of the Special Counsel's
investigation; efforts to prevent disclosure of information about the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower
meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials; efforts to have the Attorney General
unrecuse; and conduct towards McGahn, Cohen, and other witnesses.

We summarize the evidence we found and then analyze it by reference to the three statutory
obstruction-of justice elements: obstructive act, nexus to a proceeding, and intent. We focus on
elements because, by regulation, the Special Counsel has "jurisdiction.. . to investigate... federal
crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Specml Counsel's
investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of
witnesses." 2 8 C.F.R. 4 600.4(a). C onsistent with our jurisdiction to investigate federal
obstruction crimes„we gathered evidence that is relevant to the elements of those crimes and
analyzed them within an elements framework — while refraining from reaching ultimate
conclusions about whether crimes were committed, for the ieasons explained above. This section
also does not address legal and constitutional defenses raised by counsel for the, President; those
defenses are analyzed in Volume II, Section III, inpdd.

A. The Campaign's Response to Reports About Russian Support for Trump

Du'ring the 2016 campaign, the media raised questions about a poss'ible connection between
the Trump Campaign and Russia.i The questions intensified after WikiLeaks released politically
damaging Democratic Parly emails that were reported to have been hacked by Russia. Trump
responded to questions about possible connections to Russia by denying any business involvement
in Russia — even though the Trump Organization had pursued a business project in Russia as late
as June 2016. Trump also expressed skepticism that Russia had hacked the emaib at the same
d d d t d d Pid d i P i t iy ddt ' y m ti ~ d t y
further planned WikiLeaks releases. After the election, when questions persisted about possible
links between Russia and the Trump Campaign, the President-Elect continued to deny any
connections to Russia and privately expressed concerns that reports of Russian election
' interference might lead the public to question the legitimacy of his election.'

" This section summarizes and cites various news stories not for the truth of the infoimation
contained in the stories, but rather to place candidate Trump's response to those stories in context. Volume
I of this report analyzes the underlying facts of several relevant events that were reported on by the media
during the campaign.
d As discussed in Volume I, while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals
with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence
was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with
representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

1$
U.S. Department of Justice

1. Press Re orts Alle e Li s B etween the Trum Cam ai n and Russia

On June 16, 2015, Donald J. Trump declared his intent to seek nomination as the
Republican candidate for President.s By early 2016, he distinguished himself among Republican
candidates by speaking of closer ties with Russia,'e saying he would get along well with Russian
President Vladimir Putin," questioning whether the NATO alliance was obsolete,'s and praising
Putin as a "strong leader."s The, press reported that Russian political analysts and commentators
perceived Trump as favorable to Russia.'4

Beginning in February 2016 and continuing through the summer, the media reported that
several Trump campaign advisors appeared to have ties to Russia. For example, the press reported
that campaign advisor Michael Flynn was seated next to Vladimir Putin at an RT gala in Moscow
in December 2015 and that Flynn had appeared regularly on RT as an analyst.' T he press also
reported that foreign policy advisor Carter Page had ties to a Russian state-run gas company,' and
that campaign chairman Paul Manafort had done work for the "Russian. backed former Ukrainian
president Viktor Yanukovych."' I n addition, the press raised questions during the Republican

@realDonaldTrump 6/16/15 (11:57 a.m. ET) Tweet,


's See, e.g, Meet the Press Interview w'ith Donald J. Trump, NBC (Dec. 20, 2015) (Trump: "I think
it would be a positive thing if Russia snd the United States actually got alongv); presidenria! Candidate
Donald Trump Hews Conference, Hanahan, South Carolina, C-SPAN (Feb. 15, 2016) ("You want to make
a good deal for the country, you want to deal with Russia.").
" See, e.g., Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, CNN (July 8, 2015) ("I think I get along with [Putin]
fine."); Andrew Rafferty, Trump Says He Would "Ge/Along Very We/I" With Puiin, NBC (July 30, 2015),
(quoting Trump as saying, "I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.").
' See,e g., grealDonaldTrump Tweet 3/24/16 (7 47 a m. ET); @reaIDonaidTrump Tweet 3/24/16
(7:59 a.in. ET).
' See„e.g,„Meetthe Press Interview with Donald J. Trump, NBC (Dec. 20, 2015) ("[Putin] is a
strong leader. What am I gonna say, he's a weak leader7 He "s making mincemeat out of oui President" );
Donald'Trump Campaign Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, C-SPAN (Mar. 12, 2016) ("I said [Putin] was a strong
leader, which he is. I mean, he might be bad, he might be good. But he's a strong leader."),
' See, e,g;, Andrew Osbom, From Russia with love: why' the Kremlin backs Trump„Reuters (Mar.
24, 2016); Robert Zubrin, Trump; The Kremlin's Candidate,National Review (Api. 4, 2016).
" See, e.g., Mark Hosenball Rs Steve Holland, Trwnp heing advised by es-US. Lieutenant General
who favors closer Russia ties, Reuters (Feb. 26, 2016); Tom Hamburger et al., Inside Trump 's financial ties
ia Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Puti n, Washington Post (June 17, 2016). Certain matters
pertaining to Flynn are described in Volume I, Section IV.B.7, supra.
' See, e g., Zschary Mider, Trump 's/Vew Russia Advisor Has Deep Ties io gremltn 's Gazprom,
Bloomberg (Mar. 30, 2016); Julia Iofee, Who is Carter Pagef, Politico (Sep. 23, 2016). Certain matters
pertainmg to Page are described in Volume I, Section IV>. 3, supra.
's Tracy Wilkinson,In ambit, Repuhli can plarforvn doesn't eall for arining Ukraine against Russia,
spurr/ng outrage, Los Angeles Times (July 21, 2016); Josh Rogin, Trump campaign guts GOP 's anti-
Russia stame an Ukraine, Washington Post (July 18; 2016).

16
U .S.Department of Justice

National Convention about the Trump Campaign's involvement in changing the Republican
platform's stance on giving "weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces."'

Z. The Trum Cam ai n Reacts to WikiLeaks"s Release of Hacked Emails

On June 14„2016, a cybersccurity firm that had conducted in-house analysis I' or the
Democratic National Committee (DNC} posted an announcement that Russian government
hackers had infiltrated the DNC's computer and obtained access to documents."

On July 22, 2016, the day before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLcaks posted
thousands of hacked DNC documents revealing sensitive internal deliberations. is Soon thereatler„
Hillary Clinton's campaign manager publicly contended that Russia had hacked the DNC emails
and arranged their release in order to help candidate Trump. ' On July 26, 2016, the New York
Times reported that U.S. "intelligence agencies ha[d] told the White House they now have 'high
confidence' that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the
Democratic National Committee." s

Within the Trum. Cam al n, aides reacted with enthusiasm to reports of the backs.s'
discussed with Campaign officials that WikiLeaks
woul r elease the hacked material. S o me wimesses said that Trump himself discussed the
+
possibility of upcoming releases a~ , M ic hael Cohen, then-executive vice resident of the
Trum Or anization and s ecial counsel to Trum, recalled hearin

Cohen recalled t at Trump responded, "oh good, alright,"

" Josh Rogin„Trump campaign guts GOP 's anti-Russia stance on Ukraine, Washington Post,
Opinions (July IS, 2016}. The Republican Platform events are described in Volume I, Section IV.A.6,
supra.
" Bears in the Idtdstt Jntrusion inta the Democratic 8/at/anal Committee, CrowdStrike (June 15,
2016} (post originally appearing on June 14, 2016, according to records of the gming provided by
CrowdStrike}; Ellen Nakashima, Russian government hackers penetrated DIIC, stale apposition research
an Trump, Washington Post (June 14, 2016}.
' Tom Hamburger and Karen Tumulty, WikiLeaks releases thousands of documents about Clinton
~i n t ernal deliberations,
Washington Post (July 22, 2016}.
' Amber Phillips, Clintan campmgn manageri Russians leaked Democrats ' smails to help Donald
Trump, Washington Post (July 24, 2016}.
" David E. Sanger and Edc Scbmitt, Spy Agency Consensus Grows That Russia Hacked D./V.C.,
New York Times (July 26, 2016}.
i' Gates 4/10/18 302, at 5; Newman 8/23/18 302, at 1.

i Gates 4/11/18 302, at 2-3 (SM-2180998}; Gates 10/25/18 302, at 2; see also Volume I, Section
III.D.1, supra.
" Cohen 8/7/18 302, at 8; see a/so Volume I, Section III.D. I, supra. According to Cohen, after
WikiLesks"s subs imnt release of stolen DNC etnails on July 22, 2016, Tiump said to Cohen words tother
effectof, • Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 10. Cohen's role in the candidate's and later

17
U.S. Department of Justice

and - ' I ' ' ' • .~ Manafort said that shortl after WikiLeaks's Jul 22
2016 release ofhacked documents he s oke to Trump • + ' •
; Manafort recalled at Trump responded that
Manafort shou d keep Trump u dated.' D e uty campaign manager
Rick Gates said that Manaiort was ettin re ssure about information and that
Manafort instructed Gates status updates on u comin releases. A t ound
the same time, Gates was with Trump on a trip to an airport
d Il gt f ft tg ll d d T t ld G t tg t 1 f d ~i g
"
information would be coming.z' • • ' ' '

were discussed within the


-

Campaign,' and in the summer of 2016, the Campaign was planning a communications strategy
based on the possible release of Clinton emails by WikiLeaks.s'

3. The Trum Cam ai n Reacts to Alle ations That Russia was Seekin to Aid
~ dhd t T
C

In the days that followed WikiLeaks*s July 22, 2016 release of barked DNC emails, the
Trump Campaign publicly rejected suggestions that Russia was seeking to aid candidate Trump.
On July 26, 2016, Trump tweeted that it was "[c]razy" to suggest that Russia was "dealing with
Trump"s2 and that "[fjor the record," he had "ZERO investments in Russia."'s

In a press conference the next day, July 27, 2016, Trump characterized '"this whole thing
with Russia" as "a total detlection" and stated that it was "farfetched" and "ridiculous."s Trump
said that the assertion that Russia had hacked the emails was unproven, but stated that it would
give him "no pause" if Russia had Clinton's emails. ' Trump added, "Russia, if you' re listening,
I hope you*re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded

Pi'esident's activities, and his own criminal conduct, is described in Volmne II, Section II.K, infra„and in
Volume I, Section IV.A.1, supra.
TdCohen 8/7/18 302, at 8.

. As explained in footnom 197 of Volume


I , Section III.D , sup ra, this 0 i ce has included a n afort's account of these events because it aligns
with those of other witnesses and is con oborated to that extent.
Tg Gates 10/25/18 302, at 4.
' Gates 10/75/18 302, at 4.
' Barmen I/18/19 302, at 3.

" Gates 4/11/18 302, at 1-2 (SM-2180998); Gates 10/25/18 302, at 2 (messa in strate w as bein
formed in June/Jul t imeframe based on claims b A ssan e on June 12, 2016,
•• •• ).
u @realDonaldTrump 7/26/16 (6;47 P.m. ET) Tweet.
dg@realDonaldTrump 7/26/16 (6:50 p.m. ET) Tweet.

Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016).
Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016),
U.S, Deparnnent of Justice

mightily by our prrss/n T rump also said that "there's nothing that I can think of that I'd rather
do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now," and in response to a
question about whether he would recognize Crimea as Russian territory and consider lifting
sanctions, Trump replied, "We' ll be looking at that. Yeah, we' ll be looking."s'

During the press conference, Trump repeated "I have nothing to do with Russia" five
es.ss He stated that "the closest [he] came to Russia" was that Russians may have purchased a
home or condos Irorn him.ss He said that after he held the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in
2013 he had been interested in working with Russian companies that'"wanted to put a lot of money
into developments in Russia" but "it never worked out:"4s He explained, "[fjrankly, I didn't want
to do it for a couple of different reasons. But we had a major developer... that wanted to develop
property in Moscow and other places. But we decided not to do it.~' The Trump Organization,
however, had been pursuing a building project in Moscow — the Trump Tower Moscow project-
from approximately September 2015 through June 2016, and the candidate was regularly updated
on developments, including possible trips by Michael Cohen to Moscow to promote the deal and
by Trump himself to hnalize it,sz

Cohen recalled speaking with Trump after the press conference about Trump's denial of
any business dealings in Russia, which Cohen regarded as untrue. ' Trump told Cohen that Trump
Tower Moscow was not a deal yet and said, "Why mention it if it is not a deal?'S4 According to
Cohen, at around this time, in response to Trump* s disavowal of connections to Russia, campaign

Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). Within five hours
of Trump's remark, a Russian intelligence service began targeting email accounts associated with Hillary
Clinton for possible, hacks. See Volume I, Section III, supra. In w ritten answers submitted in this
investigation, the President stated that he made the "Russia, if you' re listening" statement "in jest and
sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer,*' Written Responses of Donald I, Trump (Nov. 20,
2018), at 13 (Response to Question II, Part (d)).
in Donald Tramp News Conference, Daral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016). I n his written
answers submitted in this investigation, the President said that his statement that "we' ll be looking" at
Crimea and sanctions "did not communicate any position." Written Responses of Donald J. Trump (Nov.
20, 2018), at 17 (Response to Question IV, Part (g)).
' Donald Tramp News Conference, Daral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016).
Donald TrumpNews Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016).
' Donald Trump News Conference, Doral, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016).
' Donald Trump News Conference, Dora/, Florida, C-SPAN (July 27, 2016).
ss The Trump Tower Moscow project and Trump's involvement in it is discussed in detail in
Volume I, Section IV.A. I, supra, and Volume II, Section II.K, infra.
+ Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 4.
' Cohen 9/18/I 8 302, at 4-5.
U.S. Department of Justice

advisors had developed a "party line" that Trump had no business with Russia and no connections
to Russia.ss

In addition to denying any connections with Russia, the Trump Campaign reacted to reports
of Russian election interferenee in aid of the Campaign by seeking to distance itself from Russian
contacts. For example, in August 2016, foreign policy advisor J.D. Gordon declined an invitation
to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak*s residence because the timing was "not optimal'* in view
of media reports about Russian interference. On August 19, 2016, Manafort was asked to resign
amid media coverage scrutinizing his ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and links to
Russian business.s And when the media published stories about Page's connections to Russia in
September 2016, Trump Campaign officials terminated Page's association with the Campaign and
told the press that he had played "no role*' in the Campaign.ss

On October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks released the first set of emails stolen by a Russian
intelligence agency ffom Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta.ss The same day, the federal
government announced that "the Russian Govei'nment directed the recent compromises of e-mails
from US persons and institutions, including &om US political organizations."' T he government
statement directly linked Russian hacking to the releases on WikiLeaks, with the goal of interfering
with the presidential election, and concluded "that only Russia's senior-most officials could have
authorized these activities" based on their "scope snd sensitivity.'n'

On October 11, 2016, Podesta stated publicly that the FBI was investigating Russia's
hacking and said that candidate Trump might have known in advance that the hacked emails were
going to be released.sz Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence was asked whether the Trump

Cohen 11/20/18 302, at I; Coh'en 9/18/18 302, at 3-5. The formation of the "party line" is
described in greater detail in Volume II, Section II,K, tnPa.
DJTFP00004963 (8/8/16 Email„Gonion to Pchelyakov) (ststing that "[t]hese days are not
optimal for us, as we are busily knocking down s stream of false media stories"). The invitation and
Gordon's response are discussed in Volume I, Section IV.A.7,a, supra.
" See, e.g, Amber Phillips, Paul /v/anafart's oompltcatod ttes to Ukratne, oxplatnsd, Washington
Post (Aug. 19, 2016) (" There were also a wave of fresh headlines dealing with investigations into
[Manafort's] ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine."); Tom Winter 8s Ken Dilanian,Donald Trump
Aids Paul /V/anafort Scrutinized for Russian Business Ties, NBC (Aug. 18, 2016). R e levant events
involving Manafort are discussed in Volume I, Section IV.A.S, supra.
'" Michael Isikoff, U 8. intel oPoials probe ties bsmssn Trump adviser and Rrsmttn, Yahoo News
(Sep. 23; 2016); see, e.g., 9/25/16 Email, Hicks to Conway k, Barmen; 9/23/16 Email, J. Miller to Barmen
4 S. Miller; Page 3/I 6/17 302, at 2.
' @WikiLeaks 10/7/16 (4:32 p.m. ET) Tweet.
Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of
National Inteffigence on Election Security, DHS (Oct. 7, 2016).
' Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of
National Intelligence on Election Security, DHS (Oct. 7, 2016).
ta John Wagner /k Anne Gears~ Cllnton campaign chairman ties emat/ hack to Russians, sug gests
Trump bad early warning, Washington Post (Oct. 11, 2016).
U,S, Department of Justice

Campaign was "'in cahoots'" with WikiLeaks in releasing damaging Clinton-related information
and responded, "Nothing could be further from the truth.*' '

4. A/ ter he Election Trum C ontinues to Den A n Co n tacts or Connections


with Russia or That Russia Aided his Election

On November S, 2016, Trump was elected President. Two days later, Russian officials
told the press that the Russian government had maintained contacts with Trump's "immediate
entourage" during the campaign.ss In response, Hope Hicks, who had been the Trump Campaign
spokesperson, said, "We are not aware of any campaign representatives that were in touch with
any foreign entities before yes'terday, when Mr. Trump spoke with many world leaders."ss Hicks
gave an additional statement denying any contacts between the Campaign and Russia: "It never
happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the
campaign."ss

On December 10, 2016, the press reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had "concluded
that Russia interfered in last month's presidential election to boost Dohald Trutnp's bid for the
White House." R eacting to, the story the next day, President-Elect Trump stated, "I think it' s
ridiculous. I think it's just another excusepss Hc continued that no one really knew who was
responsible for the hacking, suggesting that the intelligence community had "no idea if it's Russia
or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place."s' The President-Elect

Louis Nelson, Pence denies Trump camp in cahoots with Wthtbea/ts, Politico (Oct. 14, 2016).
Ivan Nechcpurenko,I/use/an Ogicta/s Were in Contact With Trump Allies, Diplomat Says,.New
York Times (Nov. 10, 2016)(quoting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov saying„"[t]herc
were contacts" and "I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian
representatives'*'); Jim Heintz A Matthew Lee,Russia eyes better ties with Trump; says contacts underway,
Associated Press (Nov. 11, 2016) (quoting Ryabkov saying, "I don't say that all of them, but a whole array
of theta supported contacts with Russian teprescntativcs").
Ivan Nechepurenko, I/ossian Of/'iota/s Were in Contact With Trump Allies, Diplomat Says,New
York Times (Nov. 11, 2016) (quoti'ng Hicks).
Jim Heintz /k Matthew Lee, Russia eyes better ties with Trump; says contacts underway,
Associated Press (Nov. 10, 2016) (quoting Hicks). Hicks recalled that after she made that statement, she
spoke with Campaign advisors Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller, Jason Migcr, and probably Kushner
and Barmen to ensure it was accurate, and there was no hesitation or pushback from any of thetn. Hicks
12/8/17 302, at 4.
" D amien Gayle, CIA conclmies Russia interfered to he/p Trump win election, say reports,
Guardian (Dec. 10, 2016).
Chris Wallace Hosts "Fox Ii/ews Sunday, " Interview with President-E/ect Donald Trump, CQ
Newsmaker Transcripts (Dec. 11, 2016).
ss Chris Wallace Hosts "Fax b/ews Sunday, " Interview with President-E/ect Donald Trump, CQ
Ncwsmaker Transcripts (Dec. 11, 2016).
U.S. Deparbnent of Justice

also said that Democrats were "putting [j out" the story of Russian interference '*because they
suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics."

On December 18, 2016, Podesta told the press that the election was "distorted by the
Russian intervention'* and questioned whether Trump Campaign officials had been "in touch with
the Russians. s' The same day, incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus appeared on Fax News
Sunday and declined to say whether the President-Elect accepted the intelligence community's
determination that Russia intervened in the election.es When asked about any contact or
coordination between the Campaign and Russia, Priebus said, "Even this question is insane. Of
course we didn't interface with the Russians." P riebus added that "this whole thing is a spin job"
and said, *'the real question is, why the Democrats . , arc doing everything they can to delegitimize
the outcome of the election7"s4

On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration announced that in response to Russian
cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election, it was imposing sanctions and other measures on
seveial Russian individuals and entities ss When first asked about the sanctions, President-Elect
Trump said„"I think we ought to get on with our lives." H e then put out a statement that said
"It' s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," but indicated that he would meet
with intelligence community h;aders the following week for a briefing on Russian interference,
The briefing occurred on January 6, 2017.es Following the briefing, the intelligence community
released the public version of its assessment, which concluded with high confidence that Russia
had intervened in the election through a variety of means with the goal of harming Clinton*s

Chris Wallace Hosts "Fox News Sunday," Interview with President-Elect Donald Ti'ump, CO
Newsmaker Transcripts (Dec. 11, 2016).
' David Morgan, Clinton campmgn: It's an 'open tluestion' if Trump team colluded with Russia,
Reuters Business Insider (Dec. 18, 2016).
' Chris Wallace Hosts "Fox News Sunday, " Interview with Incoming White House Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus, Fax News (Dec. 18, 2016).
' Chris Wallace Hosts "Fox News Sunday, " Interview with Incoming White House Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus, Fox News (Dec. 18, 2016).
4 Chns Wallace Hosts "Fox News Sunday, " Interview with Incoming White House Chief of Staff
Reince Priebus, Fox News (Dec. 18, 2016).
' Statement. by the Presi dera on Acgons in Response to Russian Ivfalicious Cyber Activity and
Harassment, White House (Dec. 29, 2016); see also Missy Ryan et al., Obama administration announces
measures to punish Russiafor 2016 election interference, Washington Post (Dec. 29, 2016).
' John Wagner„Trump on alleged election interfeience by Russia: 'Get on with our lives,'
Washington Post (Dec. 29, 2016).
Missy Ryan et al„Qbaina administration announces m easures to punish Russia for 201 6 election
interference, Washington Post (Dec. 29, 2016).
" Comey 11/15117 302, at 3.
U.S. Department of Justice

electability. ' T he assessment furtherconcluded with high confidence that Putin and the Russian
government had developed a clear preference for Trump.

Several days later, BuzzFeed published unverified allegations compiled by former British
intelligence officer Christopher Steele during the campaign about candidate Trump's Russia
connections under the headline "These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia." ' In a
press conference the next day, the President-Elect called the release "an absolute disgrace" and
said, "I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we' ve
stayed away.... So I have no deals„ I have no loans and I have no dealings. We could make deals
in Russia very easily if we wanted to, I just don't want to because I think that would be a conflict:"

Several advisors recalled that the President-Elect viewed stories about his Russian
connections, the Russia investigations, and the intelligence community assessment of Russian
interference as a threat to the legitimacy of his electoral victory.ts H/cks, for example, said that
the President-Elect viewed the intelligence community assessment as his "Achilles heel" because,
even if Russia had no impact on the election, people would think Russia helped him win, taking
away from what he had accomplished. S ean Spicer, the first White House communications
director, recalled that the President thought the Russia story was developed to undermine the
legitimacy of his e/ection.ts Gates said the President viewed the Russia investigation as an attack
on the legitimacy of his win.ts And Priebus recalled that when the intelligence assessment came,
out, the President-Elect was concerned people would question the legitimacy of his win.w

m Office of the Director of National Intefligence, Russia 's Infl uenc Campaign Targeting /hc 20/6
US Pres/'den//a/ E/ection, at 1 (Jan. 6, 2017).
's Office of the Director of National Intelligence,Russia's Influenc CampaignTargeting the 20/6
US Presidcntia/ E/ecti cn, at 1 (Jan. 6, 2017).
Ken Bensinger et al„T/tese Rcpor/s Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia, Buzzpeed (Jan. 10,
2017).
' Dona/d Trump 's /Yews Ccnferencci Fu// Transcript and Video, New York Times (Jan. 11,
2017), available athttps://www.nytimes.corn/2017/01/11/us/politics/trump.-press-conference-
transcript.hunt.
n Priebus 10/13/17 302, at'7; Hicks 3/1 3/18 302, at 18; Spicer 10/I 6/17 302, at 6; Barman 2/14/1 8
302, at 2; Gates 4/1 8/18 302, at 3 scc Pompeo 6/28/17 302, at 2 (the President believed that the purpose of
the Russia investigation was to delegitimize his presidency).
' H icks 3/1 3/1 8 302, at 18.
s Spicer 10/17/17 302, at 6.
' Gates 4/18/18 302, at 3.
w Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 7.
U.S. Department of Justice

B. T he President's Conduct Concerning the Investigation of Michael Flynn

During the presidential transition, incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had
two phone calls with the Russian Ambassador to the United States about the Russian response to
U.S. sanctions imposed because of Russia's election inteiference. After the press reported on
Flynn's contacts with the Russian Ambassador, Flynn lied to incoming Administration oAicials
by saying he had not discussed sanctions on the calls. The officials publicly repeated those lies in
press interviews. T h e FBI, which previously was investigating Flynn for other matters,
interviewed him about the calls in the first week after the inauguration, and Flynn told similar lies
to the FBI. On January 26, 2017, Department of Justice (DOJ) officials notified the White House
that Flynn and the Russian Ambassador had discussed sanctions and that Flynn had been
interviewed by the FBI, The next night, the President had a private dinner with FBI Director James
Camey in which he asked for Comey's loyalty. On February 13, 2017, the President asked Flynn
to resign. The following day, the President had a one-on-one conversat'ion with Comey in which
he said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn tm."

Evidence

l. In comin National Securi A d v isor Fl n D iscusses Sanctions on ussia with


Russian Ambassador Ser e Kisl ak

Shortly after the election, President-Elect Trump announced he would appoint Michael
Flynn as his National Security Advisor,ts For the next two months, Flynn played an active role on
the Presidential Transition Team (PTT) coordinating policy positions and communicating with
foreign g overnm
ent officials, including Russian Ambassador to the United States Setgey
Kislyak.ss

On December 29, 2016, as noted in Volume II, Section II.A.4, supra, the Obama
Administration announced that it was imposing sanctions and other measures on several Russian
individuals and entities. Th at day, multiple members of the PTT exchanged emails about the
sanctions and the impact they would have on the incoming Administration, and Flynn informed
members of the PTT that he would be speaking to the Russian Ambassador later in the day.s'

' Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 7; President Elect Donald J Trump Selects US. Senator deff Sessions for
Attorney General, It. Gen. Michael Flynn as Assistant to the President for National Security Af'fairs and
US. Rep. Mke Pompeo as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, President-Elect Donald J. Trump
PressRelease (Nov. 18, 2016); see also, e.g., Bryan Bender, Trump names Mike Flynn national security
adviser,Politico, Wov. 17, 2016),
w Flynn 11/16/17 302, at 8-14; Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 3-$.
Statement by the President on Actions in Response to Russian Malicious Cyber Activity and
Harassment, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (Dec. 29, 2016).
" '12/29/16 Email, O' Brien to McFarland et al.; 12/29/16 Email, Bossert to Flynn et al.; 12/29/16
Email, McFarland to Flynn et al.; SF000001 (12/29/16 Text Message, Flynn to Flaheity) ("Tit for tat w
Russia not good. Russian AMBO reaching out to me today.'*); Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 2.
U.S. Department of Justice

Flynn, who was in the Dominican Republic at the time, and K.T. McFarland, who was slated to
become the Deputy National Security Advisor and was at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with
the President-Elect and other senior staff, talked by phone about what, if anything, Flynn should
communicate to K islyak about the sanctions. McF arland had spoken with incoming
Administration officials about the, sanctions and Russia's possible responses and thought she had
mentioned in those conversations that Flynn was scheduled to speak with Kislyak." B ased an
those conversations, McFarland informed Flynn that incoming Administration officials at Mar-a-
Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.'4 At 4:43 p.m. that afternoon, McFgrland sent
an email to several officials about the sanctions and informed the group that "Gen P']lynn is talking
to russian ambassador this evening."'s

Approximately one hour later, McFarland met with the President-Elect and senior officials
and briefed them on the sanctions and Russia's possible responses." Incoming Chief of Staff
Reince Pricbus recalled that McFarland may have mentioned at the meeting that the sanctions
situation could be "cooled down*' and nat escalated. M c Farland recalled that at thc end of' the
meeting„someone may have mentioned to the President-Elect that Flynn was speaking to the
Russian Ambassador that evening.s' MeFarland did not recall any response by the, President-
Elect.+ Priebus recalled that the President-Elect viewed the sanctions as an attempt by the Obama
Administration to embarrass him by delegitimizing his election.~

Immediately after discussing the sanctions wtth McFarland an December 29, 2016, Flynn
called Kislyak and requested that Russia respond to the sanctions only in a reciprocal manner,
without escalating the situation. ' A f ter the call, Flynn briefed McFarland on its substance. s
Flynn told McFarland that the Russian response to the sanctions was not going ta be escalatory
because Russia wanted a good relationship with the Trump Administration. On Decembet 30,
2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would not take retaliatory measures

w Statement of Offense at 2-3, United Slates v. Michael 7: Flynn, I:17wr-232 (D.D.C. Dcc. 1,
2017), Doc. 4 (Flynn Statement of Offense); Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; Flynn 11/20/17 302, at 3;
McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6-7.
'McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 4-7 (recalling discussians about this issue with Barman and Priebus).
'4 Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 3-4; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 6-7.

12/29/16 Email, McFarland to Flynn et al.


~ McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7.
' Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 3,
" McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7. Priebus thought it was possible that McFarland had mentioned
Flynn's scheduled call with Kislyak at this meeting, although he was nat certain. Priebus 1/18/18 302, at
3.
' M cFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7.
Priebus 1/1 8/1 8 302, at 3.
' Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3,; Flynn 11/17/17 302„at 3-4.
Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 7-8; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 4.
w McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 8.

25
U.S. Department of Justice

in response to the sanctions at that time and would instead "plan... further steps to restore Russian-
US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration."s4 Following that announcement,
the President-Elect tweeted, "Great move on delay (by U. Putin) - I always knew he was very
smart!*~s

On December 31, 2016, Kislyak called Flynn and told him that Flynn's request had been
received at the highest levels and Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to the request.se
Later that day, Flynn told McFarland about this follow-up conversation with Kislyak and Russia's
decision not to escalate the sanctions situation based on Flynn's request." M cFarland recalled
that Flynn thought his phone call had made a differenre. ' F lynn spoke with other incoming
Administration officials that day, but does not recall whether they discussed the sanctions.s'

Flynn recalled discussing the sanctions issue with incoming Administration official
Stephen Bannon the next day.' Fly n n said that Bannon appeared to know about Flynn"s
conversations with Kislyak, and he and Bannon agreed that they had "stopped the train on Russia's
response" to the sanctions.' ' On January 3, 2017, Flynn saw the President-Elect in person and
thought they discussed the Russian reaction to the sanctions, but Flynn did not have a specific
recollection of telling the President-Elect about the substance ofhis calls with Kislyak.'

Members of the intelligence community were surprised by Russia* s decision not to retaliate
in response to the sanctions.' s When analyzing Russia's response, they became aware of Flynn's
discussion of sanctions with Kislyak.' P r eviously, the FBI had opened an investigagon of Flynn
based on his relationship with the Russian government.'" F lynn's contacts with Kislyak became
a key component of that investigation.'

e» Statetitent by the president of Russia, president of Russia (Dec. 30, 2016) 12/30/16.

®realDonatdTrump 12/30/16 (2:41 p.m. ET) Tweet.


' Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 3; Flynn Statement of Offense, at 3.
" Flynn 1/1 9/18 302, at 3; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 6; McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 10; fl ynn
Statementof Offense, at3.
' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 10; see Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 4.
" Flynn 11/1 7/17 302, at 5-6.
' ' Flynn 1/1 9/18 302, at 4-5. Bannon recalled meeting with Flynn that day„but said he did not
remember discussing sanctions with hini. Batmon 2/1 2/18 302, at 9.
"' Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 1; Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 5.
" F lynn 1/19/18302, at 6; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 6,
'" McCord7/1 7/17 302, at 2.
'" McCord 7/17/17 302, at 2.
'" McCord 7/17/17 302, at 2-3; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 5.

McCord 7/17/17 302„at 2-3.


U.S. Department of Justice

2. President-Elect Trum is Briefed n the Intelli ence Communi 's Ass'essment


of Russian Interference in the Elecdon and Con ress O n s E lection-
Interference Investi ations

On January 6, 2017, as noted in Volume II, Section II.A.4, supra, intelligence officials
briefed President-Elect Trump and the incoming Administration on the intelligence community's
assessment that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.' Wh en the briefing
concluded, Comey spoke with the President-Elect privately to brief him on unverified, personally
sensitive allegatians compiled by Steele.'" Ac c ording to a memoiandum Comey drafted
immediately after their private discussian, the President-Elect began the meeting by telling Comcy
he had conducted himself honorably over the prior year and had a great reputation,' The
President-Elect stated that he thought highly of Comey, looked forward ta working with him, and
hoped that he planned to stay on as FBI director." C omey responded that he intended to continue
serving in that role."' C omey then briefed the President-Elect on the sensitive material in the
Steele reporting." C omcy recalled that the President-Elect seemed defensive, so Comey decided

Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee,
115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey, farmer I?irector of the FBI, at
1-2);
' ' Comey 11/15/17 302, at 3; Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select
InteBi genes Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey, former
Director of the FBI, at 1-2).
' s Ccsney 1/7/17 Memorandum, at 1. Camey began drafting the memorandum summarizing the
meeting immediately after it occurred. Comey 11/1.5/17 302, at 4. He finished the memorandum that
evening and finalized it the following mo
rning. Com
ey 11/15/17 302, at 4.
Camey 1/7/17 Memorandum, at I; Comey 1 1/15/17 302, at 3. Comey identified several other
occasions in January 2017 when the President reiterated that he hoped Comey would stay on as FBI director.
On January 11, President-Elect Trump called Comcy to discuss the Steele reports and stated that hc thought
Coincy was doing great and the President-Elect hoped he would remain in his position as FBI director.
Camey 11/15/17 302, at 4; Hearing on Russian Election I nterferenceBefore theSenate Select Intelligence
Committee„115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (testimony of James B. Comey, foimer Director of the FBI), CQ
Cong. Transcripts, at 90. ('*[D]uring that call, he asked me again, 'Hope you' re going to stay, you' re doing
a great job.' And I told him that I intended to."). On January 22, at a White House reception honoring law
enforccincnt, the President greeted Camey and said he looked forward to working with him, Hearing on
Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017)
(testimony of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI), CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 22. And as discussed
in greater detail in Volume II, Section II.D, tnPo, on January 27, the President invited Comey to dinner at
the White House and said he was glad Camey wanted ta stay on as FBI I?irector.
"' Comey 1/7/17 Memorandum, at 1; Camey 11/15/17 302, at 3.
"' Camey 1/7/17 Memorandum, at 1-2; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 3. Comey's briefing included the
Stccle reporting's unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving
conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow far the Miss Universe Pageant. During
the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump, On October 30, 2016,
Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladzc that said, "Stopped flow of
tapes ftoin Russia but not sure if there's anything else. Just so you know. . . . " 1 0/30/16 Text Message,
Rtskhiladze to Cohen. Rtskhiladzc said '"tapes'* referred to coinpromising tapes of Trump mmored to be
held by persons associated with the Russian real estate congloinerate Crocus Group, which had. helped host
U.S. Department of Justice

to assure him that the FBI was not investigating him personally.ns Comey recalled he did not
want the President Elect to think o f the conversation as a "J. Edgar Hoover move.""

On January 10, 2017, the media reported that Comey had briefed the President-Elect on
the Steele reporting," and BuzzFecd News published information compi'led by Steele online,
stating that the information included "specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations
of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives u" T he next day, the President-Elect
expressed concern to intelligence commumty leaders about the fact that the informatiori had leaked
and asked whether they could make public statements refuting the allegations in the Steele
reports." z

In the following weeks„ thme Congressional committees opened investigations to examine


Russia's interference in the election and whether the Trump Campaign had colluded with
Russia.'" On January 13, 2017, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) announced
that it would conduct a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the election, including any
"links between Russia and individuals associated with political rampaigns.""v On January 25,
2017, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) announced that it had been
conducting «n investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with the
political campaigns,' A n d on Febmary 2, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that
it too would investigate Russian efforts to intervene in the election.'"

the2013 Miss UniversePageant inRussia. Rtskhiladze4/4/18302, at12. Cohen saidhe spoke to Trump
about the issue atter receiving the texts from Rtskhiladze. Cohen 9/12/18 302, at 13. Rtskhiladze said he
was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen. Rtskhiladze 5/10/18 302, at 7.
" Comey 11/15/17 302, at 3-4; Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select
Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey, former
Director of the FBI, at 2).
ns Comey 11/15/17 302, at 3.

See, e g., Evan Perez et al., Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to
compromise him, CNN (Jan. 10, 2017; updated Jan. 12, 2017).
'i Ken Bensinger et al., These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia, BuzzFeed News
(Jan. 10, 2017).
" See1/11/17 Email, Clapper to Camey ("Hc asked if I could put out a statement. He would prefer
*'
of course that I say the documents are bogus, which, of course, I can't do. ); 1/12/17 Email, Comey to
Clapper ("He called me at 5 yesterday and we had a very similar conversation."); Comey 11/15/17 302, at
4-5.
See 20I 6 Presidential, Election Investigation Fast Facts, CNN (first published Oct. 12, 2017;
updated Mar. 1, 2019) (summarizing starting dates of Russia-related investigations).
" Joint Statement on Conimittee Inqutry inta Russian Intelligence Activities, SSCI (Jan. 13, 2017).
" JointStatement on Progress of Bipartisan HPSCIInq'airy ituo Russian Active Measures, HPSCI
(Jan. 25, 2017).
' ' Joint Statementfrom Senators Graham and W%itehouse an Investi gati on into Russian Influence
on Democratic/Potions'Elections (Feb. 2, 2017).

28
U.S. Department of Justice

3. Fl nn Makes False Statements About his Communications with Kisl ak to


Incomin Administrati n Officials the Media and the FBI

On January 12, 2017, a Washington Post columnist reported that Flynn and Kislyak
communicated on the day the Obama Administration announced the Russia sanctions.' z The
column questioned whether Flynn had said something to "undercut the U.S. sanctions" and
whether Flynn's communications had violated the letter or spirit of the Logan Act.'~

President-Elect Trump called Priehus after the story was published and expressed anger
about it.'z Priebus recalled that the President-Elect asked, "What the hell is this all about?'n~
Priebus called Flynn and told him that the President-Elect was angry about the reporting on Flynn's
conversations with Kislyak.'" F l ynn recalled that he felt a lot of pressure because Priebus had
spoken to the "boss" and said Flynn needed to "kill the story.'nz' Flynn diiected McFarland to
call the Washington Post columnist and in form him that no discussion of sanctions had occurred.'z
McFarland recalled that Flynn said words to the effect of, "I want to kill the story." zs McFarland
made the call as Flynn had requested although she knew she was providing false information, and
the Washington Post updated the column to refiect that a "Trump official" had denied that Flynn
and Kislyak discussed sanctions.'

When Priebus and other incoming Adminisuation officials questioned Flynn internally
about the Washington Post column, Fly'nn maintained that he had not discussed sanctions with
Kislyak.' ' Flynn repeated that c,laim to Vice President-Elect Michael Pence and to incoming press
secretary Sean Spicer.' ' I n subsequent media interviews in mid-January, Pence, Priebus, and

David Ignatius, 5'hy did Obama dawdle on Russia 's hacking?, Washington Post (Jan. 12, 2017).
' s David Ignatius, IFky didOb orna dawdle oo Russia's hacking?, Washington Post (Jan. 12, 2017).
The Logan Act makes it a crime for "[a]ny citizen of the United States, wherever he inay be" to '"without
authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commence[] or carr[y] on any correspondence or
intercourse with any foreign government or any ofiicer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or
contmversies with the United States, or to defeat the nieasures of the United Statesy 18 U.S.C. g 953.
os Priebus I/18/18 302, at 6.
'~ Pfiebus 1/18/18 302, at 6.
' ' Priebus I/18/I 8 302, at 6.
'" Flynn 1 I/21/17 302, at 1;, Flynn 11/20/1 7 302, at 6.
o' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 12-13.
'~ McFarland 12/22/1 7 302, at 12.
' ' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 12-13; McFarland 8/29/17 302, at 8; see David Ignatius„Why did
Obama dawdleon Russia's /iacking?, Washington Post (Jan. 12, 2017).
' ' Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 1, 8; Flynn I/19/18 302, at 7; Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 7-8; S. Miller
8/31/17 302, at 8-11.
oi Flynn 11/1 7/I 7 302, at I, 8; Flynn I/19/18 302, at 7; S.Miller 8/31/17 302, at 10-11.
U,S. Department of Justice

Spicer denied that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions, basing those denials on their
conversations with Flynn.'

The public statements of incoming Administration officials denying that Flynn and Kislyak
had discussed sanctions alarmed senior DOJ officials, who were aware that the statements were
not true s Those officials were concerned that Flynn had lied to his colleagues —who in turn had
unwittingly misled the American public — creating a compromise situation for Flynn because the
Department of Justice assessed that the Russian government could prove Flynn lied."s The FBI
investigative team also believed that Flynn's calls with Kislyak and subsequent denials about
discussing sanctions raised potential Logan Act issues and were relevant to the FBI's broader
Russia investigation.' s

On January 20, 2017, Piesident Trump was inaugurated and Flynn was sworn in as
National Security Advisor. On January 23, 2017, Spicer delivered his first press briefmg and stated
that he had spoken udth Flynn the night before, who confirmed that the calls with Kislyak were
about topics unrelated to sanctions.'s" Spiccr's statements added to thc Department of Justice's
concerns that Russia had leverage over Flynn based on his lies and could use that derogatory
information to compromise him.' s

On January 24, 2017, Flynn agreed to be interviewed by agents from the FBI.'" D u ring
the interview, which took place at the White House, Flynn falsely stated that be did not ask Kislyak
to refrain from escalating the situation in response to the sanctions on Russia imposed by the
Obama Administration.'s' F l ynn also falsely stated that he did not remember a follow-up
conversation in which Kislyak stated that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those
sanctions as a result of Flynn's request.'+

Face the Nation Interview with Vice President-Elect Pence, CBS (Jan. 15, 2017); Julie
Hirschfield Davis et al., 1'rutnp National Security Advisor Called Russian Envoy Day Before Sanctions
Were /reposed, Washington Post (Jan. 13, 2017); bfeet the Press Interview with Reince Priebus, NBC (Jan.
15, 2017).
Yates g/15/17 302, at 2-3; McCord 7/17/17 3 02, at 3-4; McCabe g/17/17 302, at 5 (DO I officials
were "really freaked out about it").
' ' Yates g/15/17 302, at 3; McCord 7/1 7/17 302, at 4.
'" McCord 7/1 7/17 302, at 4; McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 5-6.
Sean Spicer, Jfhtte House Dat7y Briefing, C-SPAN (Jan. 23, 2017).
' ' Yates g/15/17 302, at 4; Axelrod 7/20/17 302, at 5.
'i Flynn Statement of Offense, at 2.
'® F/Jstn Statement of Offense, at 2.
"' Flynn Statement of Offense, at, 2. On December 1, 2017, Flynn admitted to making these false
statements and pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. ri 1001, which makes it a crime to knowingly and
willfully "make[] any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation" to federal law
enforcement offici'als. See Volume I, Section IV.A.7, supra,

30
U.S. Department of Justice

4. DOJ Officials Noti t h e White House of Their Concerns About Fl nn

On January 26, 2017„Acting Attorney General Sally Yates contacted White House Counsel
Danald McGahn and informed him that she needed to discuss a sensitive matter with him in
person.'4 L ater that day, Yates and Mary McCord, a senior national security aAicial at the
Department of Justice, met at the White House with McGahn and White House Counsel's Office
attorney James Burnham.'~s Yates said that the public statements made by the Vice President
denying that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions were not uue and put Flynn in a potentially
compromised position because the Russians would know'he had lied.'44 Yates disclosed that Flynn
had been interviewed by the FBI.' S h e declined to answer a specific question about how Flynn
had performed during that interview,' b ut she indicated that Flynn's statements to the FBI were
similar to the statements he had made to Pence and Spicer denying that he had discussed
sanctions.'~r McGahn came away from the meeting with the impression that the FBI had not
pinned Fl)mn down in lies,' b u t he asked John Eisenberg, who served as legal advisor to the
National Security Council, to examine potential legal issues raised by Flynn*s FBI interview and
his contacts with Kislyak.'4s

That afternoon, McGahn notified the President that Yates had come to the White House to
discuss concerns about Flynn.' M c Gahn described what Yates had told him, and the President
asked him to repeat it, so he did.'si McGahn recalled that when he described the FBI interview of
Flynn, he said that Flynn did not disclose having discussed sanctions with Kislyak, but that there
may not have been a clear violation of 18 U.S.C. $ 1001." T h e President asked about Section
1001, and McGahn explained the law to him, and also explained the Logan Act.'s' The President

'" Yates 8/15/17 302, at 6.

Yates 8/15/17 302, at 6; M cCoid 7/17/17 302, at 6; SCR015 000198 (2/15/17 Draft
Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the President).
Yates 8/15/17 302, at 6-8; McCord 7/17/17 302, at 6-7; Burnham 11/3/17 302, at 4;
SCR015 000198 (2/15l17 Draft Memorandum to file from thc Office of the Counsel to the President).
'i' McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 5; Yates 8/15ll7 302, at 7; McCord 7/17/17 302, at 7; Bumham
11/3/17 302, at 4.
'"' Yates 8/1S/17 302, at 7; McCard 7/17/17 302, at 7.
'ir SCR01S 000198 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President); Bumham 11l3ll 7 302, at 4.
"s McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 5.
' ' SCR015 000198 (2/15/17 Dratt Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President}; McGahn 11/30/1 7 302, at 6, 8.
'" McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 6; SCR015 000278 (White House Counsel's Office Memorandum
re: "Flyim Tick Tock') (on January 26, "McGahn IMMEDIATELY advises PQTUS" ); SCR015 000198
(2/15/17 Draft Memorandum ta file tram the Office at' the Counsel to the President),
"' McGahn 11/30l17 302, at 6.
'+ McGshn 11/30/17 302, at 7.
" M cGshn 11/30/17 302, at 7.

31
U.S, Department of Justice

instructed McGahn to work with Priebus and Bannon to look into the matter further and directed
that they not discuss it with any other officials.is4 Priebus recalled that the President was angry
with Flynn in light of what Yates had told the White House and said, "not again, this guy, this
stuff "'

That evening, the President dined with several senior advisors and asked the group what
they thought ab'out FBI Director Comeys as According to Director of National Intelligence Dan
Coats, who was at the dinner, no one openly advocated terminating Comey but the consensus on
him was not positive.' C o ats told the group that he thought Comey was a good director.' Coats
encouraged the President to meet Comey face-to-face and spend time with him before making a
decision about whether to retain him.'

5. McGahn has a Follow-U Meetin A bout Fl n w ith Yates President Trum


has Dinnet. with FBI Director Come

The next day, January 27, 2017, McGahn and Eisenberg discussed the results of
Eisenberg's initial legal research into Flynn's conduct, and specifically whether Flynn may have
violated the Espionage Act, the Logan Act, or 18 U.S.C. f 1001.' Ba sed on his preliminary
research, Eisenberg informed McGahn that there was a possibility that Flynn had violated 18
U.S.C. $ 1001 and the Logan Act.'s' Eisenberg noted that the United States had never successfully
prosecuted an individual under the Logan Act and that Flyrm could have possible defenses, and

" M cGahn 11/30/17 302, at 7; SCR015 000198-99 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the
Office of the Counsel to the President).
Priebus 10/1 3/17 302, at 8. Several witnesses said that the President was unhappy with Flynn
for other reasons at this time. Bannon said that Flynn's standing with the President was not good by
December2016. Bannon 2/12/18 302, at 12. The President-Electhad concerns because President Obama
had warned him about Flynn shortly atter the election. Bannon 2/12/18 302, at 4-5; Hicks 12/8/17 302, at
7 (President Obama's comment sat with President-Elect Trump more than Hicks expected). Priebus said
that the President had become unhappy with Flynn even before the story of his calls with Kislyak broke
and had become so upset with Flynn that he would not look at him during intelligence briefings. Priebus
1/18/18 302, at 8. Hicks said that the President thought Flynn had bad judgment and was angered by tweets
sent by Flynn and his son, and she described Flynn as "bemg on thin ice" by early February 2017. Hicks
12/8/17 302, at 7, 10.
" Coats 6/14/17 302, at 2.
ui Coats 6/14/17 302, at 2.
us Coats 6/14/17 302„at 2.
'" Coats 6/14/17 302, at 2.
" S CR015 000199 (2/15/17 Dratt Memorandum to file &om the Office of the Counsel to the
President); McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 8.
aa SCR015 000199 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President); Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 9.
IJ.S. Department of Justice,

told McGahn that he believed it was unlikely that a prosecutor would pursue a Logan Act charge
under the circumstances.'

That same morning, McGahn asked Yates to return to the White House to discuss Flynn
again.'" In that second meeting, McGahn expressed doubts that the Department of Justice would
bring a Logan Act prosecution against Flynn„but stated that the White House did not want to take
action that would interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation of Flynn." Y a tes responded that
Department of Justice had notified the White House so that it could take action in response to the
information provided.'ss McGahn ended the meeting by asking Yates for access to the underlying
information the Department of Justice possessed pertaining to Flynn's discussions with Kislyak."

Also on January 27, the President called FBI Director Comcy and invited him to dinner
that evening.' P r iebus recalled that before the dinner, he told the President something like, "don' t
talk about Russia, whatever you do," and the President promised he would not talk about Russia
at the dinner.'e McGahn had previously advised the President that he should not 'communicate
directly with the Department of Justice to avoid the perception or reality of political interference
in law enforcement.' W h en Bannon learned about the President's planned dinner with Camey,
he suggested that he or Priebus also attend, but the President stated that he wanted to dine with
Comey alone.' C o mey said that when he ari'ived for the dinner that evemng, he was surprised
and concerned to see that no one else had been invited. n

'" SCR015 000199 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file &om the Office of the Counsel to the
President); Eiscnberg 11/29/17 302, at 9.
'" SCR015 000199 (2/15/17 Dratt Memorandum to file from the Deice of the, Counsel to the
President); McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 8; Yates 8/15/17 302, at 8.
Yates 8/15/17 302, at 9; McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 8.
'" Y ates 8/15/17 302, at 9; Burnharn 11/3/17 302, at 5; see SCR015 00199 (2/15/17 Dratt
Memorandum to file from the Office af the Counsel to the President) ("Yates was unwilling to confirm or
deny that there was an ongoing investigation but did indicate that the Department of Justice would not
object to the. White House taking action against Flynn."3.
'" Yates 9/15/17 302, at 9; Burnhain 11/3/17 302, at 5. In accordance with McGahn's request, tire
Department of Justice made the underlying information available and Eisenberg viewed the information in
early Februaty. Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 5; FBI 2/7/17 Electronic Communication, at I (dccumenting
2/2/17 meeting with Eisenberg).
'" Comey 11/15/17 302, at 6„SCR012b 000001 (President's Daily Diary, 1/27/1 7);Hearing an
Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017)
(Statement for. the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 2-3).
us Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 17.
' ' SeeMcGahn 11/30/17 302, at 9; Dhillon 11/21/17 302, at 2; Bannon 2/12/18 302, at 17.
' ' Bannon 2/12/18 302„at 17.
' ' Hearing on Russian Election Interference Befare the Senate Select Intelligence Committee,
115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at
3); see Camey 11/15/17 302, at 6.
U.S, Department of Justice

Comey provided an account of the dinner in a contemporaneous memo, an interview with


this Office, and congressional testimony. A ccording to Comey's account of the dinner, the
President repeatedly biought up Comey's future, asking whether he wanted to stay on as FBI
director.' ' Because the President had previously said he wanted Comey to stay on as FBI director,
Comey interpreted the President's comments as an effort to create a patronage relationship by
having Comey ask for his job.' s Thc Pt'esident also brought up the Steele reporting that Comey
had raised in the January 6, 2017 briefing and stated that hc was thinking about ordering the FBI
to investigate the allegations to prove they were false.' C om ey responded that the President
should think carefully about issuing such an order because it could create a narrative that the FBI
was investigating him personally, which was incorrect."s L ater in the dinner, the President
brought up Flynn and said, "the guy has serious judgment issues.*' 4 Comey did not comment on
Flynn and the President did not acknowledge any FBI interest in or contact with Flynn.' 7

According to Comey's account, at one point during the dinner the President stated, "I need
loyalty, I expect loyalty.'uss Comey did not respond and the conversation moved on to other
topics, but thc President returned to the subject of Comey's job at the end of the dinner and
r epeated, "I need loyalty Ju s Comey responded, "You will always get honesty from me."" T h e

Comey I I/15/17 302, at 7; Camey 1/28/17 Memorandum, at I, 3; Hearing on Russian Election


Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Cornrnittee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B, Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 3).
' ' Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7; Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Seleci
Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey, former
Director of the FBI, at 3).
'Comey 1/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Hearing on Russian Elecii on Interference Before the Senate
Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey,
former Director of the FBI, at 4).
Comey I/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate
Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey,
former Director of the FBI, at 4).
'" Comey 1l28/17 Memorandum, at4; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7.
' t Comey 1/28/17 Memorandum, at 4; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7.
rn Comey 1/28/18 Memorandum, at 2; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7; Heortng on Russian Election
Interfer ence Be+re the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 3).
Comey I/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7" „Hearing on Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Com
mittee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 3-4).
" C omey I/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7; Hearing on Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, fencer Directoi of the FBI, at 4).
U,S. Department of Justice

President said, "That's what I want, honest Ioyalty.'nsi Comey said, "You will get that from
m ~usz

After Comey *s account of the dinner became public, the President and his advisors disputed
that he had asked for Comey's loyalty.'+ The President also indicated that he had not invited
Comey to dinner, telling a reporter that he thought Comey had "asked for the dinner" because "he
wanted to stay on.'us B u t substantial evidence corroborates Comey's account of the dinner
invitation and the request for loyalty. The President's Daily Diary confirms that the President
"extend[ed] a dinner invitation" to Comcy on January 27.' " With respect to the substance of the
dinner conversation, Comey docuinented the President's request for loyalty in a memorandum he
began drafting the night of the dinner;" senior FBI officials recall that Comey told them about
the loyalty request shortly after the dinner occurred.„"' and Comey described the request while

'" Comey I/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 71 Hsartng on Rvsstan Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 4).
Camey 1/28/17 Memorandum, at 3; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 7; Hearing on Russian Election
Interference Before ths Senate Select Intslggence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 4).
'" See, e.g„M i c hael S. Schmidt, In a Private Dinner, Tramp Demanded Loyalty. C a mey
Demurred., New York Times (May 11, 2017) (quoting Sarah Sandeis as saying, "[The President] would
never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty" ); Ali Vitsli, Tramp Never Asked for Camey's
Loyally, President 's Personal Lawyer Says,NBC (June 8, 2017) (quoting the President's personal counsel
as saying, "The president also never told Mr. Comey, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,' in form or
substancep); Remarks by President Tmmp in Press Conference, White House (June 9, 2017) ("I hardly
know the man. I'm not going to say 'I want you to pledge agegiance.' Who would do that'? Who would
ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath?"). In a private conversation with Spicer, the President stamd
that he had never asked for Comey's loyalty, but added that if he had asked for loyalty, "Who caresT'
Spicer 10/16/17 302, at 4. The President also told McGahn that he never said what Comey said he had.
McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 17.
'+ Interview of Donald J. Trump,NBC (May 11, 2017),
'" SCR012b 000001 (President's Daily Diary„ 1/27/17) (reflecting that the President called Comey
in themorning onJanuaiy 27 and "[t]he purpose of the call was to extend a dinner invitation"). In addition,
two witnesses corroborate Comey's account that the President reached out to schedule the dinner, without
Comey having asked for it. Piiebus 10/13/17 302, at 17 (the President asked to sohedule the January 27
dinner because he did not know much about Comey and intended to ask him whether he wanted to stay on
as FBI Director); Rybicki 11/21/18 302, at 3 (recalling that Camey told him about the President's dinner
invitation on the day of the dinner).
ns Camey 11/15/17 302, at 8; Hearing on Russian E/ection Interference Before the Senate Ss?ect
lntslli genes Cammiges, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey, former
Directorofthe FBI,at4).
"" McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 9-10; Rybicki 11/2VI8 302, at 3. After leaving the White House,
Comey called Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, summarized what he and the President had
discussed, including the President's request for loyalty, and expressed shock over the President's request.
McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 9. Camey also convened a meeting with his senior leadership team to discuss what
the President had asked of him during the dinner and whether he had handled the request for loyalty
properly. McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 10; Rybicki 11/21/18 302, at 3. In addition, Comey distributed his

35
U.S. Department of Justice

under oath in congressional proceedings and in a subsequent interview with investigators subject
to penalties for lying under 18 U.S.C, g 1001. Comey *s memory of the details of the dinner,
including that the President requested loyalty, has remained consistent throughout."s

6. Fl nn's Resi nation

On February 2, 2017, Eisenberg reviewed the underlying information relating to Flynn's


calls with Kislyak.'ss Eisenberg recalled that he prepared a memorandum about criminal statutes
that could apply to Flynn's conduct, but he did not believe the White House had enough
information to make a definitive recommendation to the President.'" E i senberg and McOahn
discussed that Eisenberg's review of the underlying information confirmed his preliminary
conclusion that Flynn was unlikely to be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act,' ' Because White
House officials were uncertain what Flynn had told the FBI, however, they could not assess his
exposure to prosecution for violating 18 U.S.C. ) 100L's

The week of February 6, Flynn had a one-on-one conversation with the President in the
Oval Office about the negative media coverage of his contacts with Kislyak.'s Flynn recalled that
the President was upset and asked him for information on the conversations.' F l y nn listed the
specific dates on which he remembered speaking with Kislyak, but the President corrected one of
the dates he listed.'s' The President asked Flynn what he and Kislyak discussed and Flynn
responded that he might have talked about sanctions.'s

memorandum documenting thc dinner to his senior leadership team, and McCabe confirmed that the
memorandum captured what Camey said on the telephone call immediately following the dinner. McCabe
8/17/17 302, at 9-10.
'w Thare also is evidence that coiiuborates other aspects of the memoranda Comey wrote
documenting his interactions with the President. For example, Corriey recalled, and his inemoranda reflect,
that he told the President in his January 6, 2017 meeting, and on phone calls on March 30 and April 11,
2017, that the FBI was not investigating the President personally. On May 8, 2017, during White House
discussions about firing Comey, the President told Rosenstein and others that Camey had told him three
times that he was not under investigation, including once in person and twice on the phone. Gauhar-000058
(Gauhar 5/16/17 Notes).
'" Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 5; FBI 2/7/17 Electronic Communication, at 1 (documenting 2/2/17
meeting with Eisenberg).
' ' Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 6.
'" Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 9; SCR015 000200 (2/15/17 Dratt Memorandum to file from the
Office of the Counsel to the President).
Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 9.
na Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 2.
w4 Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 2.
'ss Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 2.
'" Flynn 11/21/17 302, at 2-3.
U,S. Department of Justice

On February 9, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Flynn discussed sanctions with
Kislyak the month before the President took office.' Afi e r thc publication of that story, Vice
President Pence learned of the Department of Justice's notification to the White House about the
content of Flynn's calls,iss He and other advisors then sought access to an'd reviewed the
underlying information about Flynn's contacts with Kislyak.'w FBI Deputy Director Andrew
McCabe, who provided the White House officials access to the information and was present when
they reviewed it, recalled the. officials asking him whether Flynn's conduct violated the Logan
Act.s" McCabe responded that he did not know, but the FBI was investigating the matter because
. it was a possibility.2 ' Based on the evidence of Flynn's contacts with Kislyak, McGahn and
Priebus concluded that Flynn could not have forgotten the details of th'e discussions of sanctions
and had instead been lying about what he discussed with Kislyak.s F l ynn had also told White
House officials that the FBI had told him that the FBI was closing out its investigation of him,s
but Eisenberg did not believe him. m After reviewing the materials and speaking with Flynn,
McGahn and Pi iebus concluded that Flynn should be terminated and recommended that course of
action to the President.~s

That weekend, Flynn accompanied the President to Mar-a-Lago.s s Flynn recalled that on
February 12, 2Q17, on the return flight to D.C. on Air Force One, the President asked him whether
he had lied to the Vice President.' Fl y nn responded that he may have forgotten details of his
calls, but he did not think he lied.2 The President responded, "Okay. That's fine. I got it/a®

Greg Miller et al., b/atlanal security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian
ambassador, despite denials, ogUctals say, Washington Post (Feb. 9, 2017).
" S CR015 000202 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President); McGahn 11/30/17 302„at 12,
' s SCR015 000202 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President); McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 11-13; Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 10; McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 12.
' M cCabe 8/17/17 302, at 13.
' McCabe 8/17/17 302, at 13.
McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 12; Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 8; Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 10;
SCR015 000202 (2/15/17 Drafi Memorandum to file fi'om the Office of the Counsel to the President).
aa McGahn i 1/30/17 302, at 11; Eisenberg 1 I/29/17 302, at 9; Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 11.
"" Eisenberg 11/29/17 302, at 9.
' SCRQ15 000202 (2/15/17 Draft Memorandum to file from the Office of the Counsel to the
President); Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 10; McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 12.
" F lynn 11/17/17 302, at 8.
'm Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 9; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 8.
" F lynn 11/17/17 302, at 8; Flynn 1/19/18302, at 9.
iw Flynn 1/19/1 8 302, at 9.

37
U.S. Department of Justice
//

On February 13, 2017, Priebus told Flynn he had to resign. ' F lynn said he wanted to say
goodbye to the President, so Priebus brought him to the Oval Offic. " P r iebus recalled that the
President hugged Flynn, shook his hand, and said, "We' ll give you a good recommendation.
Y ou're a good guy. We' lltake care ofyou," '

Talking points on the resignation prepared by the White House Counsel's Office and
d'istributed to the White House communications team stated that McGahn had advised the
President that Flynn was unlikely to be prosecuted, and the Presiderit had determined that the issue
with Flynn was one of trust.z's Spicer told the press the next day that Flynn was forced to resign
"not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, [where] a level of trust between the President
and General Flynn had etoded to the point where [the President] felt he had to make a change.'a'4

7. The President Discusses Fl n with FBI Director Come

On February 14, 2017, the day after Flynn's resignation, the President had lunch at thc
White House with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.z's According to Christie, at one point
during thc lunch the President said, "Now that we fired Flynn, the Russia thing is over." ' C hristie
*
laughed and responded, "No way."z' He said, "this Russia thing is far from over" and ' [w]e'll be
here on Valentine's Day 2018 talking about this." ' T h e President said, "[w]hat do you mean?
Flynn met with the Russians. That was the problem. I fired Flynn. It's over."z's Christie recalled
responding that based on his experience both as a prosecutor and as someone who had been
investigated, firing Flynn would not end the investigation.~ C hristie said there was no way to
make an investigation shorter, but a lot of ways to make it longer.z The President asked Christie
what he meant, and Christie told the President not to talk about thc investigation even if he was

'" Priebus 1/18/1 8 302, at 9.


n Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 9; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 10.
' Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 9; Flynn 11/17/17 302, at 10.
SCR004 00600 (2/16/17 Email, Burnham to Donaldson).
" Sean Spicer, White House Daily Briefing, C-SPAN (Feb. 14, 2017). Atter Flynn pleaded guilty
to violating 18 U.S.C. tj 1001 in December 2017, the Pi esident tweeted, "I had to fire General Flynn because
he lied to the Vice President and the FBIP g r calDonaldTrump 12/2/17 (12:14 p.m. ET) Tweet. The next
day, the President's personal counsel told the press that he had drafted the tweet. Maegan Vazqucz et al.,
Tran p 's lawyer says he was behind President 's tweet about firing Flynn, CNN (Dec. 3, 2017).
' Christie 2/13/19 302, at 2-3; SCR012b 000022 (President's Daily Diary, 2/14/17).
'" Christie 2/13/19 302, at 3.
" C hristie 2/1 3/1.9 302, at 3.
'" Christie 2/13/1 9 302, at 3. Christie said he thought when the President said "the Russia thiiig"
hc was referring to not just the investigations but also press coverage about Russia. Christie thought the
more important thing was that there was an investigation. Christie 2/13/19 302, at 4.
'" Christie 2/13/19 302, at 3.
iraChristie 2/13/19 302, at3.
'u Christie 2/1 3/19 302, at 3.
U.S. Department of Justice

frustrated at times.tsi Christie also told the President that hc would nevet bc able to get rid of
Flynn, "like gum on the bottom of your shoe." '

Towards the end of the lunch, the President brought up Camey and asked if Christie was
still friendly with him.t C h ristie said he wasas The President told Christie to call Comey and
tell him that the President "really like[a) him. Tell him he's part of the team.*ate At the end of the
lunch, the President repeated his request that Christie reach out to Comey.s C hr'istic had no
intention of complying with the President's request that he contact Camey.~s He thought the
President's request was "nonsensical" and Christie did not want to put Comey in the position of
having to receive such a phone calL C h r istie thought it would have been uncomfortable to pass
on that message/e

At 4 p.m. that atternoon, the President met with Comey, Sessions, and other officials for a
homeland security briefing. s At th e end of the briefing„ the President dismissed the other
attendees and stated that hc wanted to speak to Comey alone. S essions and senior advisor to the
President Jared Kushncr remained in the Oval Office as other participants left, but thc President

' Christie 2/13/19 302, at 3-4.


Christie 2/13/19 302, at 3. Christie also recalled that during the lunch, Flynn calleil Kushncr,
who was at. thc lunch, and complained about what Spicer had said about Flynn in tds press briefmg that
day. Kushner told Flynn words to the effect of, "You know the President respects you. Thc President cares
about you. 1' ll get the President to send out a positive tweet about you later." Kushner looked at the
President when he mentioned the tweet, and the President nodded his assent. Christie 2/13/19 302, at 3,
Flynn recalled getting upsetat Spiccr's comments in the press conference and calling Kushner to say he did
not appreciate the comments. Flynn 1I19/18 302, at 9.
t+ Christie 2/13/19 302, at 4.
tt' Christie 2/13/19 302, at 4.

Christie 2/13/19 302, at 4-5.


t" Christie 2/13/19 302, at 5.
Christie 2/13/19 302, at 5.
tts Christie 2/13/19 302, at 5.

Christie 2/13/1 9 3Q2, at S.


' SCR012b 000022 (President's Daily Diary,2/14/17)1 Comey 11/15/17 302, at 9.
'u Comcy 11/15/1 7 302, at 10; 2/14/17 Comey Memorandum, at 1; Hearing on Russian Election
Interfere
nce Before the Senate Select Intelligence Comntittee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, foi'mer Director of thc FBI, at 4); Priebus 1Q/13/17 302, at 18 (confirming
*'
that evetyone was shooed out "like Comey said in his Junc testimony).
U.S. Department of Justice

excused them, repeating that he wanted to speak only with Comey.sss At some pomt after others
had left the Oval Office, Priebus opened the door, but the President sent him away.'~

According to Comey's account of the meeting, once they were alone, the President began
the conversation by saying, "I want to talk about Mike Flynn."~" The President stated that Flynn
had not done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but had to bc terminated because he
had misled the Vice President."' T h e conversation turned to the topic of leaks of classified
information, but the President returned to Flynn, saying "he is a good guy and has been through a
lot." ' T he President stated, "I hope you can see, your way clear to letting this go, to letting Fly nn
go.Hc isa good guy. Ihope you can letthisgo."" Camey agreed that Flynn "isagood guy,"
but did not commit to ending the investigation of Flynn.ss Comey testified under oath that he
took the President's statement "as a direction" because of the President's position and the
circumstances o f the one-'on-one meeting.~

" C omey 11/15/17 302, at 10;, Comey 2/14/17 Memorandum, at 1; Hcaring on Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comcy, former Dircctoi of the FBI, at 4). Sessions mcallcd that thc President asked
to speak to Comey alone and that Sessions was one of the last to leave thc room; he desrribed Comey's
testimony about the events leading up to the private meenng with the President as "pretty accurate."
Sessions I/I 7/18 302, at 6. Kushner had no recollection of whether the President asked Camey to stay
behind. Kushner 4/11/18 302, at 24.
n" Coiney 2/14/17 Memorandum, at 2; Pricbus 1'0/13/17 302, at 18.

Comcy 11/1 5/17 302, at 10; Comey 2/14/17 Memorandum, at I; Hearing on Russian Election
Inter
ference Before the Senate Ss/cct I mmittee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
ntelligenceCo
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 4).
Comey 2/14/17 Memorandum, at 1;Hearing on Russian Elscd on Interference Before the Senate
Select Intelll genes Commgtee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey,
former Director of the FBI, at 5).
" Comey 11/15/17 302, at 10; Comey 2/14/17 Memorandum, at 2; Hearing on Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intslggence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8„2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 5).
" Hearing on Russian Election Iraerference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee,
115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Camey, former Director of the FBI, at
5); Comey 2/14/17 Memorandum, at 2. Camey said he was highly confident that the words in quotations
in his Memorandum documenting this meeting were the exact words used by the President. He said he
knew' from the outset of the meeting that he was about to have a conversation of consequence, and he
remembered the words used by the President and wrote them down soon alter the meeting. Comey 11/15/17
302, at 10-11.
Comey 11/1 5/17 302, at 10; Comey 2/1 4/17 Memorandum, at 2.
s Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee,
115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 3 1) (testimony of James B. Camey, former Director
of the FBI). Comey further stated, "I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying,
'I hope' this, I took it as, this is what he wants me to do." Id.; see alsoComey 11/15/17 302, at 10 (Comey
took thc statement as an order to shut down the Flynn investigation).

40
U.S. Department of Justice

Shortly aller meeting with the President, Comcy began drafling a memorandum
documenting their conversation.'"' Comey also met with his senior leadership team to discuss the
President's request, and they agreed not to inform FBI officials working on the Flynn case of the
President's statements so the officials would not be influenced by the request.sss Comey also asked
for a meeting with Sessions and requested that Sessions not leave Comey alone with the President
again.2ss

'8. The Media Raises e s tions Aboutthe President'sDela in Termmatin Fl n n

After Flynn was forced to resign, the press raised questions about why the President waited
more than two weeks after the DOJ notification to remove Flynn and whether the President had
known about Flynn's contacts with Kislyak before the DOJ notification.24" The press also
continued to raise questions about connections between Russia and the President*s campaign.sss
On February 15, 2017, the President told reporters, "General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think
he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media/as On February 16, 2017, the President held

ao Comey 11/15/17 302, at 11; Hearing on Russian Election Interferenee Before the Senate Select
Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the record of James B. Camey, former
Director of the FBI, at 5).
rs Comey 11/15/17 302, at 11; Rybicki 6/9fl7 302, at 4,' Rybicki 6/22/17 302, at I; Hearing on
Russian Election Interference Before the Senate Seleetfntelftgenee Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8,2017)
(Statement for the record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 5-6).
"' Comey I lfl5fl 7 302, at 11; Rybicki 6/9/17 302, at 4-5; Rybicki 6/22/17 30$ at 1-2; Sessions
I/17/18 302, at 6 (confirming that later in the week following Cbmey's one-on-one meeting with the
President in the Oval Office, Comey told the Attorney General that he did not want to be alone with the
President); Hunt 2/I/18 302, at 6 (within days of the February 14 Oval Office meeting, Comey told Sessions
he did not think it was appropriate for the FBI Director to meet alone with the President); Rybicki I 1/21fl 8
302, at 4 (Rybicki helped to schedule the meeting with Sessions because Comey wanted to talk about his
concerns about meeting with the President alone); Hearing on Russian ElecBon Interferenee Befog the
Senate Select, Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the record of James B.
Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 6).
~4 See, e,g., Sean Spicer, White, House Daily Briefing, C;SPAN (Feb. 14, 2017) (questions from
the. press included, "if [the Ptesident] was notified 17 days ago that Flynn had misled the Uice President,
other officials here, and that he was a potential threat to blackmail by the Russians, why would he be kept
an for almost three weeks?" and "Did the President instruct [Flynn] to talk about sanctions with the [Russian
ambassador]'?") Priebus recalled that the President initially equivocated on whether to fire Flynn because
it would generate negative press to lose his National Security Advisor so carly in his term. Priebus 1/1 8/18
302, at 8.
ms E.g., Sean Sullivan et al., Senators frets both parties pledge to deepen probe of Russia and the
20I 6 election, Washington Post (Feb. 14, 2017); Aaron Blake, 5 times Donald Trump 's team denied contact
ivith Russia„ Washington Post (Feb. 15, 2017); Oren Derail,Donald Trump 's ties to Russia ga back 30
years, USA Today (Feb. 15, 2017); Pamcla Brown et al., Trump aides were in constant touch with senior
Russian o+ ieiais dut'ing campaign, GNN (Feb. 15, 2017); Austin Wright, Camey briefs senators amid furor
over TrumpRussia ties, Politico (Feb. 17, 2017); Megan Twohey k Scott Shane A BaekChannel Plan for
Ukraine andRussta, Courtesy of Trump Associates, New York Times (Feb. 19, 2017).
" Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in Joint Press Conference,
White House (Feb. 15, 2017).

41
U.S; Department of Justice

a press conference and said that he removed Flynn because Flynn "didn't tell the Vice President
of the United States the facts, and then he didn't remember. And that just wasn't acceptable to
me. u4 The President said he did not direct Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak„but *'it
certainly would have been okay with me if he did. I would have dit ected him to do it if I thought
he wasn't doing it. I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him because that's his job."2"s
In listing the reasons for terminating Flynn, the President did not say that Flynn had lied to him.'"
The President also denied having any connection to Russia, stating, "I have nothing to do with
Russia. I told you, I have no deals there. I have no anything."~sc The President also said he "had
nothing to do with" WikiLeaks's publication of information hacked from the Clinton campaign.is'

9. The Preshfent Attem ts to Have K.T. McFarland Create a Witness Statement


Den in that he Directed Fl nn's Discussions with Kisl ak

On February 22, 2017, Priebus and Barmen told McFarland that thc President wanted her
to resign as Deputy National Security Advisor, but they suggested to her that the Administration
could make her the ambassador to Singapore. s The next day, the President asked Priebus to have
McFarland draft an internal email that would confirm that the President did not direct Flynn to call
the Russian Ambassador about sanctions. Pr i ebus said he told the President he would only
direct MoFarland to write such a letter if she were comfortable with it." P riebus called McFarland
into his office to convey the President's request that she memorialize in writing that the President
did not direct Flynn to talk to KislyakP' M cFarland told Priebus she did not know whether the
President had directed Flynn to talk to Kislyak about sanctions, and she declined to say yes or no

Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference, White House (Feb. 16, 2017).
' ' Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference, White House (Feb. 16, 2017). The President
also said that Flynn's conduct "wasn't wrong — what he did in terms of the information he saw." The
*
president said that Flynn was just "doing the job," and "if anything, he did something right.'
' ' Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference, White House (Feb. 16, 2017); Priebus
1/18/I 8 302, at 9.
' Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference, White House (Feb. 16, 2017).
" Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference, White House (Feb. 16, 2017).
" K TM F 00000047 (McFarland 2/26/17 Memorandum for the Record); McFarland 12/22/17 302,
at 16-17.
is' See Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 11; sec o/so KTMF 00000048 (McFarland 2/26I17 Memorandum
for the Record); McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 17.
~ Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 11.
us KTMF 00000048 (McFarland 2/26/17 Memorandum for the Record); McFarland 12/22/17 302;
at 17.
U.S. Department of Justice

to the request.~~ Pricbus understood that McFarland was not comfortable with thc President's
request, and he recommended that she talk to attorneys in the White House Counsel's Office. "

McFarland then reached out to Eiscnberg."' M cFarland told him that she had been fired
from her job as Deputy National Security Advisor and offered the ambassadorship in Singapore
but that the President and Priebus wanted a letter from hcr denying that the President directed
Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak.~v E isenberg advised McFarland not to write the
requested letter.~4c As documented by McFarland in a contemporaneous "Memorandum for the,
Record ** that shc wrote because she was concerned by the President's request: "Eisenberg.. .
thought the requested email and letter would be a bad idea —from my side because the email would
be awkward. %hy would I be cmailing Priebus to make a statement for the record7 But it would
also be a bad idea for the President because it looked as if my ambassadorial appointment was in
some way a quid pro quo."~ ' Later that evening, Pricbus stopped by McFarland*s office and told
her not to write the email and to forget he even mentioned it.s+

Around the same time, the President asked Priebus to reach out to Flynn and let him know
that the President still cared about him.~s Priebus called Flynn and said that hc was checking in
and that Flynn was an American hero. ss~ Priebus thought the President did not want Flynn saying
bad things about him.~ss

On Match 31,, 2017, following news that Flynn had offered to testify before thc,FBI and
congressional investigators in exchange for immunity, the President twected, '"Mike Flynn should
ask for immunity in that this is,a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media k Dems, of

" K T M F 00000047 (McFartand 2/26/17 Memorandum for the Record) ("I said I did not know
whether he did or didn' t, but was in Maralago the week between Christmas and New Year's (while Flynn
was on vacation in Carribean) and I was not aware of any Flynn-Tmmp, cr Trump-Russian phone calls" );
McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 17.
" P riebus 1/18/18 302„at 11.
"' McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 17.
"a McF arland 12/22/17 302, at 17.
'w KTMF 00000048 (McFarland 2/26fl 7 Memorandum for the Record); McFarland 12/22/17 302,
at 17.
en KTMF 00000048 (McFarland 2/26/17 Memorandum for the Record); see McFarland 12/22/17
302, at 17.
' ~ McFarland 12/22/17 302, at 17; KTMF 00000048 (McFarland 2/26/17 Memorandum for the
Record).
Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 9.
~s" Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 9; Flynn 1/19/18 302, at 9.
"5 Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 9-10.
U.S. Department of Justice

historic proportion! "2 s In late March or early April, the President asked McFarhmd to pass a
message to Flynn telling him the President felt bad for him and that he should stay strong.s '

In analyzing the President's conduct related to the Flynn investigation, the following
evidence is relevant to the elements of obsuuction of justice:

a. Obs t ructive act. According to Comey's account of his February 14, 2017 meeting
in the Oval Office, the President told him, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to
letting Flynn go.... I hope you can let this go." In analyzing whether these statements constitute
an abstructive act, a threshold question is whether Comey's account of the interaction is accurate,
and, if so, whether the President's statements had the tendency to impede the administration of
justice by shutting down an inquiry that could result in a grand jury investigation and a criminal
charge.

After Camey's account of the President's request to "let[] Flynn go" became public, the
President publirly disputed several aspects of the story. The President tald the New York Times
that he did not "shoo other people out of the room" when he talked to Corney and that he did not
remember having a one-on-one conversation with Camey.ass The President also publicly denied
that he had asked Camey ta "let[] Flynn go" or otherwisc communicated that Camey should drop
the investigation of Flynnses In private, the President denied aspects ofComey*s accaunt to White
House advisors, but acknowledged ta Priebus that he brought Flynn up in the meeting with Comey
and stated that Flynn was a goad guy.s D espite those denials, substantial evidence corroborates
Comey's account.

'w @realDonaldTrump 3/31/17 (7:04 a.m. ET) Tweet; see Shane Harris at al., /vft/te Flynn Oj[ers
to Testify in Exchange for Immunity, Wall Street Journal (Mar. 30, 2017).
"' McFarland 12/22/17 302„at 18.
" E xcerpts From The Times's Jntervievr With Trttmp, New York Times (July 19, 2017). Hicks
recalled that the President told her he had never asked Comey to stay behind tn his office. Hicks 12/8/17
302, at 12.
In a statement on May 16, 2017, the White House said: "While the President has repeatedly
expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President
has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any invesngation involving
General Flynn.. . . T his is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President
and Mr. Comeyy SeeMichael S. Schmidt, Comey Memorandum Says Trump Asked Him to End Fiynn
Invest/ gnnnn, New York Times (May 16, 2017) (quoting White House statement); grealDonaldTrump
12/3/17 (6:IS a.m, ET) Tweet ("I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News
covering another Comey lie I").
m' Pricbus recalled that the President acknowledged telgng Comey that Flynn was a good guy and
he hoped "everything worked out for him." P riebus 10/13/17 302, at 19. M cGahn recalled that the
President denied saying to Comey that he hoped Comey would let Flynn go, but added that he was "allowed
to hope." The President told McGahn he did not think he had crossed any lines. McGahn 12/14/I 7 302, at
g.
U.S. Department of Justice

First, Comey wrote a detailed memorandum of his encounter with the President on the
same day it occurred. Comey also told senior FBI officials about the meeting with the President
that day, and their recollections of what Comcy told them at the time are consistent with Comey's
account t 0

Second, Comey provided testimony about the president's request that he let[] Flynn go"
under oath in congressional proceedings and in interviews with federal investigators subject to
penalties for lying under 18 U.S.C. $ 1001. Comey's recollections of the encounter have remained
consistent over time.

Third, the objective, corroborated circumstances of how the one-on-one meeting came to
occur support Comey's description of the event. Comcy recalled that the Prcsidcnt cleared thc
room to speak with Comey alone after a homeland security briefing in the Oval Offlce, that
Kushncr and Sessions lingered and had to be shooed out by the President, and that Priebus briefl
opened the door during the meeting, prompting the President to wave him away. While the
President has publicly denied those details, other Administration oAicials who were present have
confirmed Comey's account of how hc ended up in a one-on-one meeting with the President.si'
And the President acknowledged to Pricbus and McGahn that he in fact spoke to Comcy about
Flynn in their one-on-one meeting.

Fourth, the President's decision io clear the room and, in particular, to exclude the Attorney
Genaial from the meeting signals that the President wanted to be alone with Comey, which is
consistent with the delivery of a message of the type that Comey recalls, rather than a more
innocuous conversation that could have occurred in the presence of the Attorney General.

Finally, Comey's reaction to thc President's statements is consistent with the President
having asked him to "let[] Flynn go." Camey met with the FBI leadership team, which agreed to
keep the President's statements closely held and not to inform the team working on the Flynn
investigation so that they would not be influenced by the President's request. Comey also promptly
mct with thc Attorney General to ask him not to be lefl alone with the President again„an account
verified by Sessions, FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki, and Jody Hunt, who was then the Attorney
General's chief of stafK

A second question is whether the President's statements, which were not phrased as a direct
order to Comey, could impede or interfere with the FBI's investigation of Flynn. While the
President said he "hope[d]" Comcy could "let[] Flynn go," rather than affirmatively directing him
to do so, the circumstances of the conversation show that the President was asking Comey to close
the FBI *a investigation into Flynn. First, the President arranged the meeting with Comey so that
they would be alone and purposely excluded the Attorney General, which suggests that the
President meant to make a request to Comey that he did not want anyone else to hear. Second,
because the President is the head of the Executive Branch, when he says that he "hopes*' a
subordinate will do something, it is reasonable to expect that the subordinate will do what the
President wants. Indeed, the President repeated a version of "let this go'" three times, and Comey

' Rybicki 11/21/18 302, at 4; MrCabc 8/17/17 302, at 13-14.


ii See Priebus 10/13/17 302„at 18; Sessions 1/1 7/18 302, at 6.
U.S. Department of Justice

testified that he understood the President's statements as a directive, which is corroborated by the
way Comey reacted at the time.

b. Nex us to a roceedin . To establish a nexus to a proceeding, it would be necessary


to show that the President could reasonably foresee and actually contemplated that the
ury
investigation of Flynn was likely to lead to a grand j investigation or prosecution.

At the time of the president! s one-on-one meeting with Comey, no grand jury subpoenas
had been issued as part of the FBI's investi ation into Fl nn. But Fl rm's lies to the FBI violated
federal criminal law„ , and resulted in Flynn's
prosecution for violating Ig U.S.C. ) 1001. By the time the President spoke to Comey about
Flynn, DOJ officials had informed McGahn, who informed the President, that Flynn's statements
to senior White House officials about his contacts with Kislyak were not true and that Flynn had
told the same version of events to the FBI. McGahn also informed the President that Flynn's
conduct could violate 18 U.S.C. $ 1001. After the Vice President and senior White House officials
i'eviewed the underlying information about Flynn's calls on February 10, 2017, they believed that
Flynn could not have forgotten his conversations with KisJyak and concluded tha't he had been
lying. In addition, the President's instruction to the FBI Director to "let[] Flyim go" suggests his
nn
awareness that Fly could face .ci iminal exposure for his conduct andwas at risk of prosecution.

c. Inte n t. As part of our investigation, we examined whether the President had a


personal stake in the outcome of an investigation into Flynn — for example, whether the President
was aware of Flynn's communications with Kislyak close in time to when they occurred, such that
the President knew that Flynn had lied to senior White House oAicials and that those lies had been
passed on to the public. Some evidence suggests that the President knew about the existence and
content of Flynn's calls when they occurred, but the evidence is inconclusive and could not be
relied upon to establish the President's knowledge. In advance of Flynn's initial call with Kislyak,
the President attended a meeting where the sanctions were discussed and an advisor may have
mentioned that Flynn was scheduled to talk to Kislyak. Flynn told McFarland about the substance
of his calls with Kislyak and said they may have made a difference in Russia*s response, and Flynn
recalled talking to Bannon in early January 2017 about how they had successfully "stopped the
train on Russia's response" to the sanctions. It would have been reasonable for Flynn to have
wanted the President to know ofhis communications with Kislyak because Kislyak told Flynn his
request had been received at the highest levels in Russia and that Russia had chosen not to retaliate
in response to the request, and the President was pleased by the Russian response, calling it a
"[g]reat move." And the President never said publicly or internally that Flynn had lied to him
about the calls with Kislyak.

But McFarland did not iecall providing the President-Elect with Flynn's read-out of his
calls with Kislyak, and Flynn does not have a specific recollection of telling the President-Elect
directly about the calls. Bannon also said he did not recall hearing about the calls fiom Flynn.
And in Febmary 2017, the President asked Flynn what was discussed on the calls and whether he
had lied to the Vice President, suggesting that he did not already know. Our investigafion
accordingly did not produce evidence that established that the President knew about Flynn's
discussions of sanctions before the Department of Justice notified the White House of those
discussioris in late January 2017. The evidence also does not establish that Flynn otherwise

46
U.S. Department of Justire

possessed information damaging to the President that would give the President a personal incentive
to end the FBI's inquiry into Flynn's conduct.

Evidence does establish that the President connected the Flynn investigation to the FBI's
broader Russia investigation and that he believed, as hc told Christie, that terminating Flynn would
end "the whole Russia thing." Flynn's firing occurred at a time when the media and Congress
were raising questions about Russia's interfercncc in the election and whether members of the
President's campaign had colluded with Russia. Multiple witnesses recalled that the President
viewed the Russia investigations as a challenge to the legitimacy of his election. The President
paid careful attention to negative coverage of Flynn and reacted with annoyance and anger when
the story broke disclosing that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Just hours before
meeting one-on-one with Comey, the President told Christie that firing Flynn would put an cnd to
the Russia inquiries. And after Christie pushed back, telling the President that firing Flynn would
not end the Russia investigation, thc President asked Christie to reach out to Comey and convey
that thc Pi'esident lilo:d him and he was part of "the team." That aRemoon, the President cleared
the room and asked Comey to "let[] Flynn go."

We also sought evidence relevant to assessing whether the President*s direction to Comey
was motivated by sympathy towards Flynn. I n public statements the President repeatedly
described Flynn as a good person who had been harmed by the Russia investigation, and the
President directed advisors to reach out t o F lynn to te ll h im t he P resident "care[d]"
about him and felt bad for him. At the same time, multiple senior advisors, including Bannon,
Priebus, and Hicks, said that the President had become unhappy with Flynn well before Flynn was
forced to resign and that the President was I'rcquently irritated with Flynn. Priebus said he believed
the President's initial reluctance to fire Flynn stemmed not from personal regard, but from concern
about the negaUve press that would be generated by firing the National Security Advisor so early
in the Adminisuation. And Pricbus indicated that the President's post-firing expressions of
support for Flynn were motivated by the President's desire to keep Flynn from saying negative
things about him.

The way in which the President communicated the request to Comey also is relevant to
understanding the President's intent. When the President first learned about the FBI investigation
into Flynn, he told McGahn, Bannon, and Priebus not to discuss the matter with anyone else in the
Whit'e House. The next day, thc President invited Comey for a one-on-one dinnei against the
advice of an aide who recommended that other White House officials also attend. At the dinner,
the President asked Com'ey for "loyalty"' and, at a different point in the conversation, mentioned
that Flynn had judgment issues. When the President met with Comey the day after Flynn's
termination — shortly after being told by Christie that firing Flynn would not end thc Russia
investigation —the President cleared the room, even excluding the Attorney General, so that he
could again speak to Comey alone. The President's decision to meet one-on-one with Comey
contravened the advice of the White House Counsel that the President should not communicate
directly with the Department of Justice to avoid any appearance of interfering in law enforcement
activities. And the President later denied that he cleared the room and asked Comcy to "let[] Flynn
go" — a denial that would have been unnecessary if he believed his request was a proper exercise
of prosecutorial discretion.

47
EES. Department of Justice
//

Finally, thc President's effort to have McFarland write an internal email denying that the
President had directed Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak highlights the President's concern
about being assaciated with Flynn's conduct. The evidence does not establish that the President
was trying to have McFarland lie. The President's request, however, was sufficiently uregular
that McFarland — wha did not know the full extent of Flynn's communications with the President
and thus could not make the representation the President wanted — felt the need to draft an internal
memorandum documenting tbc President's request, and Eisenberg was concerned that the request
would look like a quid pro quo in exchange far an ambassadorship,

C. The P resident's Reaction to Public Conf i r matio of the FBI's Russia


Investigation

In early March 2017, the President learned that Sessions was considering recusing fiom
the Russia investigation and tried to prevent the recusal. After Sessions announced his recusal on
March 2, the President expressed anger at Sessions for the decision and then privately aslred
Sessions to "unrecuse.*' On March 20, 2017, Comey publicly disclosed the existence of the FBI*a
Russia investigation. I n the days that followed, the President contacted Comey and other
intelligence agency leaders and asked them to push back publicly on the suggestion that the
President had any connection to the Russian election-interference effort, in order to "lilt the cloud"
of the ongoing investigation.

Evidence

l. At t ome Geneiel Sessions Recuses From the Russia Invesfi ation

In late February 2017, the Department of Justice began an internal analysis of whether
Sessions should recuse &am the Russia investigatian based on his role in the 2016 Trump
Campaign. ' O n March 1, 2017, the press reported that, in his January confirmation hearing to
become Attorney General, Senator Sessions had not disclosed two meetings he had with Russian
Ambassador Kislyak before the presidential election, leading to congressional calls for Sessions
to recuse or for a special counsel to investigate Russia's interference in the presidential election.

Also on March I, the President called Comey and said he w'anted to check in and see how
Cainey was doing.' ' A ccording to an email Camey sent to his chief af staff after the call, the
**
President "talked about Sessions a bit, said that he had heard Comey was "doing great," and said
that he hoped Comey would came by to say hello when he was at the White House. s Comey

Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 1; Hunt 2/1/18 302, at'3.


E.g., Adam Entous et al., Sessions met with ttussion envoy twice lost year, encounters Jte later
did not disclose, Washington Post (Mar. 1, 2017).
"' 3/1/17 Email, Camey to Rybicki; SCR012b 000030 (President's Daily Diary, 3/1/17, reflecting
call with Comey at 11: SS am.)
3/1/17 Email, Comey to Rybicki; see Heanng on Russian Election Interference Before the
Senate Select Intelligence Cornntittee, 115th Cong, (June 8, 2017) (CQ Cong. Tmnscripts, at 86) (testimony
U.S. Department of Justice
//

interpreted the call as an effort by the President to "pull [him] in," but he did not perceive the call
as an attempt by the President to find out what Comey was doing with thc Flynn investigation,

The next morning, the President called McGahn and urged him to contact Sessions to tell
him not to recuse himself,trom the Russia investigation.'rs McGahn understood the Presiderit to
be concerned that a recusal would make Sessions look guilty for omitting details in his
confirmation hearing leave the President unprotected from an investigation that could hobble the
presidency and derail his policy objectives; and detract from favorable press coverage of a
Presidential Address to Congress the President had delivered earlier in the week. s McGahn
reached out to Sessions and reported that the President was not happy about the possibility of
recusal. S e ssions replied that he intended to follow the rules on recusal.s ' McGahn reported
back to the President about the call with Sessions, and the President I'eiterated that he did not want
Sessions to recuse.~' Throughout the. day, McGahn continued trying on behalf of the President to
avert Sessions*s recusal by speaking to Sessions's personal counsel, Sessions's chief of staff, and
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and by contacting Sessions himself two more times.s"
Sessions recalled that other White House advisors also called him that day to argue against his
recusal.s~

That atternoon, Sessions announced his decision to recuse "from any existing or future
inveshgations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United
States." s Sessions believed the decision to recuse was not a close call, given the applicable

of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI) ("[H]e called me one day.. .. [H]e just called to check in
and tell me I was doing an awesome job, and wanted to see how I was doing.").
'~ Comey 11/I 5/17 302, at 17-18.
~" McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 16.
McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 16-17; see SC AD 00123 (Donaldson 3/2/17 Notes) (" Just in the
middle of another Russia Fiasco.").
s" Sessions I/17/18 302, at 3.
' ' McGahn I I/30/17 302, at 17.
"~ McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 17.
rs McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 18-19; Sessions I/17/18 302, at 3; Hunt 2/I/18 302, at 4; Donaldson
11/6/17 302, at 8-10; see Hunt-000017; SC AD 00121 (Donaldson 3/2/17 Notes).
~+ Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 3.
'~ Attorney General Sessions Statement on Recusal, Department of Justice Press Release (Mar. 2,
2017) (" During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senio'r career Department
officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself fmm any matters arising from thc campaigns for
President of the United States. Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself
from any exisgng or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President
of the United States."). At the time of Sessions's recusal, Dana Boente, then the Acting Deputy Attorney
G eneraland U.S. Attorney forthe Eastern District of V irginia, became the Acung Attorney Generalfor
campaign-related matters pursuant to an executive order specifying the order of succession at the
Department of Justice. Id. (" Consistent with the succession order for the Department of Justice,. .. Dans
Boente shall act as and perform the functions of the Attorney General with respect to any matters from
U.S. Department of Justice
//

language in thc Code of Federal Begulations (CFR), which Sessions considered to be clear and
decisive.z S essions thought that any argument that the CFR did not apply to him was "very
thin." ' S essions got the impression, based on calls he received from White House officials, that
the President was very upset with him and did not think he had done his duty as Attorney
Generakz's

Shortly after Sessions announced his recusal, the White House Counsel's Office directed
that Sessions should not be contacted about the matter. ' I nternal White House Counsel's Office
notesfiom March 2,2017, state "No contactw/Sessions" and "No comms /Serious concerns about
obstruction."

On March 3, the day after Sessions's recusal, McGahn was called irito the Oval Office.zin
Other advisors were there, including priebus and Barmen.'sz T h c president opened the
conversation by saying, "I don't have a lawyer."zss The President expressed anger at McGahn
about the recusal and brought up Roy Cohn, stating that he wished Cohn was his attorney.zs4
MrGahn interpreted this comment as directed at him, suggesting that Cohn would fight for the

which I have recused myself to the extent they exist."); sea Exec. Order No. 13775, 82 Fed. Reg. 10697
(Feb. 14, 2017).
zs' Sessions 1/17/I 8 302, at 1-2. 28 C.F.R. 5 45.2 provides that "no employee shall participate in a
criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a person'al or political relationship with. .. [a]ny person or
organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution,"
and defines "political relationship*' as "a rlose identification with an elected official, a candidate (whether
or not successful) for elective, public office, a political party, or a campaign organization, arising from
service as a principal adviser thereto or a principal official thereof."
' Sessions 1/1 7/18 302, at 2.
" Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 3.
' Donaldson 11/6/17302,at ll; SC AD 00123(Donaldson3/2/17Notes). It isnotclear whether
the President was aware of the White House Counsel's Office direction not to contact Sessions about his
recusal.
" SC AD 00123 (Donaldson 3/2/17 Notes). McGahn said he believed the note "No comms /
Serious concerns about obstruction" may have referred to concerns McGahn had about the press team
saying "crazy things" and trying to spin Sessions's recusal in a way that would raise concerns about
obsuuction. McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 19. Donaldson recalled that "'No comms" referred to the order that
no one should contact Sessions. Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 11.
" McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2.
" M cGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2.
zs' McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2.

i McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2. Cohn.had previously served as a lawyer for the President during
his career as a private businessman. Priebus recalled that when the President talked about Cohn, he said
Cohn would win cases for hiin that had no chance, and that Cohn had done incredible things for him.
Priebus 4/3/18 302, at 5. Bannon recalled the President describing Cohn as a winner and a fixer, someone
who got things done, Barmen 2/14/18 302, at 6.
U.S. Department of Justice

President whereas McGahn would not.rss The President wanted McGahn to talk to Sessions about
the recusal, but McGahn told the President that DOJ ethics oflicials had weighed in on Sessions's
decision to recuse.~s The President then brought up former Attorneys General Robert Kennedy
and Eric Holder and said that they had protected their presidents. sr The President also pushed
back on the DOJ contacts policy, and said words to the effect of, '"You' re telling me that Bobby
and Jack didn't talk about investigations? Or Obama didn't tell Eric Holder who to investigate7"' '
Bannon recalled that the President was as mad as Bannon had ever seen him and that he screamed
at McGahn about how weak Sessions was.sw Bannon recalled telling the President that Sessions's
recusal was not a surprise and that before the inauguration they had discussed that Sessions would
have to recuse from campaign-related investigations because of his work on t he Trump
Campaign. o

That weekend, Sessions and McGahn flew to Mar-a-Lago to meet with the President.M'
Sessions recalled that the President pulled him aside to speak to him alone and suggested that
Sessions should "unrecuse" from the Russia investigation. r The President contrasted Sessions
with Attorneys General Holder and Kennedy, who had developed a strategy to help their presidents
where Sessions had not. o Sessions said he had the impression that the President feared that the
investigation could spin out of control and disrupt his ability to govern, which Sessions could have
helped avert if he were still overseeing it.sos

O'n March 5, 2017, the White House Counsel's Office was informed that the FBI was
asking for transition-period records relating to Flynn — indicating that the FBI was still actively
investigating him. O n March 6, the President told advisors he wanted to call the Acting Attorney

'w McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2.

McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 2.


rw McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 3. Bannon said the President saw Robert Kennedy and Eric Holder
as Attorneys General who protected the presidents they served. The President thought Holder always stood
up for President Obama and even took a contempt charge for him, and Robert Kennedy always had his
brother's back. Bannon 2/14/18 302, at 5. Prie'bus recalled that the President said he had been told his
entire life he needed to have a great lawyer, a "bulldog," and added that Holder had been willing to take a
contempt-of-Congress charge for President Obama. Priebus 4/3/18'302, at 5.
'" McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 3.
'w Barmen 2/14/1 8 302, at 5.
Bannon 2/14/18 302, at 5.
" Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 3; Hunt 2/1/18 302, at 5; McGahn 12/1 2/17 302, at 3.
" Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 3-4.
' Sessions 1/17/18 302, at 3-4
Sessions 1/1 7/18 302, at 3-4. Hicks recalled that after Sessions recused, the President was angry
and scolded Sessions in her presence, but she could not remember exactly when that conversation occurred.
Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 13.
" S C A D 000137 (Donaldson 3/5/17 Notes); see Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 13.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

General ta find out whether the White House or the President was being investigated, although it
is not clear whether the President knew at that time of the FBI's recent request concerning Flynn."

2. FBI D i r ector Come P u b licl C o n f irms the E xistence of t h e R ussia


Investi ation in Testimon Before HPSCI

On March 9, 2017, Comey briefed the "Gang of Eight" congressional leaders about thc
FBI's investigation of Russian interference, including an identification af thc principal U,S.
subjects of the investigation. Al t hough it is unclear whether the President knew of that briefing
at the time, notes taken by Annie Donaldson, then McGahn's chief of staff, on March 12, 2017,
state, "POTUS in panic/chaos... Need binders to put in front of POTUS. (I) All things related
to Russia/a T h e week after Camey's briefing, the White Hause Counsel *s Office was in contact
with SSCI Chairman Senator Richard Burr abaut the Russia investigations and appears ta have
received information about the status of the FBI investigation.'c'

On March 20, 2017, Comey was scheduled to testify before HPSCI. ' I n advance of
Comey's testimony, congressional officials made clear that they wanted Camey to provide
information about the ongoing FBI investigation."' Dana Boentc, who at that time was the Acting
Attorney General for the Russia investigation, authorized Comey to confirm the existence of the
Russia investigation and agreed that Comey should decline to comment on whether any particular
individuals, including the President, were being investigated. ts

" D onaldson 11/6/17 302, at 14; scc SC AD 000168 (Danaldson 3/6/17 Notes) ("POTUS wants
to call Dana [then the Acting Attorney General far campaign-related investigations]I Is investigation / Na /
Wc know something on Flynn / GSA got contacted by FBI / There's something hot").
' ' Camey 11/15/17 302, at 13-14; SNS-Classified-0000140-44 (3/8/17 Email, Gauhar to Page et
al).
SC AD 00188 (Donaldson 3/12/18 Notes). Donaldson said she wss not part of the conversation
that led to these notes, and must have been told about it from athers. Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 13.
Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 14-15. On March 16, 2017, 'the White House Counsel's OAice was
*"
briefed. by Senator Burr on the existcncc af "4-5 targets." Danaldson 11/6/17 3K, at 15. Thc "targets
w ere identified in notes taken by Donaldson as "Flynn (FBI was in — wra in u «D OJ lookingforphone
records"; "Comey«Manafort (Ukr + Russia, not campaign)"; "Carter Page (8
game)' *; and "Greek Guy" (potentially referring to George Papadopou os, later charged with violating 18
U.S.C. [1 1001 forlyingtothe FBI). SC AD 00198(Donaldson 3/16/17Notes). Donaldson and McGahn
both said they believed these were targets of SSCI. Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 15; McGahn 12/12/17 302,
at 4. But SSCI does not formally investigate individuals as "targets'*; the notes on their face reference the
FBI„ the Department of Justice, and Comey; and the noma track the background materials prepared by the
FBI for Camey's briefing to the Gang af 8 on Match 9. Sce SNS-Classified-0000140-44 (3/8/17 Email,
Gauhar to Page et al.); sesalso Danaldsan 11/6/1 7 302, at 15 (Donaldson could nat rule out that Burr had
tald McGahn those individuals were the FBI's targets).
" Hearing on Ralston Election Tampenng Before the House Permanent Select Intelligence
Committee>115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017).
"' Comey 11/15/17 302, at 16; McCabc 8/17/17, at 15; McGahn 12/14/17 302, at 1.
" B acntc I/31/1 8 302„at 5; Comcy 11/1 5/17 302, at 16-17.
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In his opening remarks at the HPSCI hearing, which were dratted in consultation with the
Department of Justice, Comey stated that he had "been authorized by the Department of Justice to
confirm that the FBI, as part of [its] counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian
government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating
the nature of any inks between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian
governm
ent and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts.
As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any
crimes were committed.'*s's Comey added that he would not comment further on what the. FBI
was "doing and whose conduct [it] [was] examining" because the investigation was ongoing and
classified — but he observed that he had "taken the extraordinary step in consultation with the
Department of Justice of briefing this Congress's leaders... in a classified setting in detail about
the investigation.'o'4 Comey was specifically asked whether President Trump was "under
investigation during the campaign" or "under investigation now." ' C omey declined to answer,
stating, ' *Please don't over interpret what I' ve said as — as the chair and ranking know,, we have
bri efed him iti great 'detail on the subjects of the investigation and what we'rc doing, but I'm not
*'s'4 Comey was also asked whether the FBI was
gonna answer about anybody in this forum.
investigating the information contained in the Steeh: repoiting, and he declined to answer."

According to McGahn and Donaldson„ the President had expressed frustration with Comey
before his March 20 testimony, and the testimony made matters worse. 's The President had
previously criticized Comey for too frequently making headlines and for not attending intelligence
briefings at the White House, and the President suspected Comey of leaking certain information
to the media. 's McGahn said the President thought Comey was acting like "his own branch of
government." z

m' Hearing an Russian Election Tampering Before the House permanent Select Intslligsncc
Committee, 115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017) (CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 11) (testimony by FBI Director James
B. Comey); Comey 11/15/17 302, at 17; Boente 1/31/18 302, at 5 (confirming that the Department of Justice
authorized Comey's remarks).
Hearing on Russian EIection Tampering Before the House Permanent Select Intelligence
Committee, 115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017) (CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 11} (testimony by FBI Director James
B. Comey ).
Hearing on Russian Election Tampering Before the House Permanent Select Intelligence
Committee, 115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017) (CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 130) (question by Rep. Swalwell).
" Hearing on Russian Election Tamper/ng Before the House Permanent Select Intelligence
Committee, 115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017) ('CQ Cong, Transcripts, at 130) (testimony by FBI Director James
B. Comey}.
Hearing on Russian. Election Tampering Before the House Permanent Select Intstltgsncs
Committee, 115th Cong. (Mar. 20, 2017) (CQ Cong. Transcripts, at 143} (testimony by FBI Director James
B. Comey).
'i' Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 21; McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 7.

" D onaldson 11/6/17 302, at 21; McGahn 12/1 2/17 302, at 6-9.
"' McGabn 12/12/17 302, at 7.

53,
U,S. Department of Justice

Press reports following Comey's March 20 testimony suggested that the FBI w as
investigating the President, contraiy to what Comey had told the President at the end,of the January
6, 2017 intelligence assessment briefing. ' M cGahn, Donaldson, and senior advisor Stephen
Miller recalled that the President was upset with Comey's testimony and the press coverage that
followed because of the suggestion that the President was under investigation. z Notes from the
White House Counsel's Office dated March 21, 2017, indicate that the President was "beside
himself" over Comey's testimony,. ' The President called McGahn repeatedly that day to ask him
to intervene with the Department of Justice, and, according to the notes, the President was *getting
'
hotter and hotter, get rid?'nm Officials in the White House Counsel's Office became so concerned
that the President would fire Coniey that they began drafting a memorandum that examined
whether the President needed cause to terminate the FBI director.

At the President*s urging, McGahn contacted Boente several times on March 21, 2011, to
seek Boente's assistance in having Camey or the Department of Justice correct the misperception
that the President was under investigation.sic Boente did not specifically recall the conversations,
although he did remember one conversation with McGahn around this time where McGahn asked
if there was a way to speed up or end the Russia investigation as quickly as possible.'s' Boente
said McGahn told him the President was under a cloud and it made it hard for him to govern. ss
Boente recalled telling McGahn that there was no good way to shorten the investigation and
attempting to do so could erode confidence 'in the investigation's conclusions.sz' Boente said
McGahn agreed and dropped the issue. ' The President also sought to speak with Boente directly,
but McGahn told the President that Boente did not want to talk to the President about the request

u Eg., Matt Apuzzo et al., FB.I. Is Investigagng Trump's Russia Ties, Comey Confirms, New
York Times (Mar. 20, 2017); Andy Greenberg, The FBI Has Been Investigating Trump 's Russia Ties Since
July, Wired (Mar. 20, 2017); Julie Borger k, Spencer Ackerman, Trump-Russia collusion is heing
investigated hy FBI, Comey coriPrms, Guardian (Mar. 20, 2017); see Comey 1/6/17 Memorandum, at 2.
n Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 16-17; S. Miller 10/31/17 302, at 4; McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 5-7.
n' SC AD 00213 (Donaldson 3/21/17 Notes), The notes from that day also indicate that the
President referred to the "Comey bombshell" which "made [him] look like a fool." S C A D 00206
(Donaldson 3/21/17 Notes).
SC AD 00210 (Donaldson 3/21/17 Notes).
SCR016 000002-05 (White House Counsel *s Office Memoranduin). White House Counsel's
Office attorney Uttam Dhillon did not recall a triggering event causing the White House Counsel's Office
to begin this research. Dhillon 11/21/17 302, at 5. Metadsta from the document, which was provided by
the White House, establishes that it was created on March 21, 2017.
t' Donaldson 11/6/17 302, at 16-21; McGshn 12/12/17 302, at 5-7.
' Boente 1/31/18 302, at 5.
Boente 1/31/18 302, at 5.
"' Boente 1/31/18 302, at 5.

Boente 1/31/18 302, at 5.


U.S. Department of Justice
//

to intervene with Comey. s' McGahn recalled Boente telling him in calls that day that he did not
think it was sustainable for Comey to stay on as FBI director lbr the next four years, which
McGahn said he conveyed to the President,s ' Boente did not recall discussing with MeGahn or
anyone else the idea that Comey should not continue as FBI director.s '

3. The P resident Asks Intelli ence Communi L ea ders to M a ke P ublic


Statements that he had No Connection to Russia

In the weeks following Comey's March 20, 2017 testimony, the President repeatedly asked
intelligence community officials to push back publicly on any suggestion that the President had a
connection to the Russian election-interference effort.

On March 22, 2017, the President asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and
CIA Director Michael Pompeo to stay behind in the Oval Office after a Presidential Daily
Briefing."4 According to Coats, the President asked them whether they could say publicly that no
link existed between him and Russia.s s Coats responded that the Office of the Director of National
Intelligence (ODNI} has nothing to do with investigations and it was not his role to make a public
statement on the Russia investigation.sss Pompeo had no recollection of being asked to stay behind
atter th'e March 22 briefing, but he recalled that the President regularly urged officials to get the
word out that he had not done anything wrong related to Russia."r

Coats told this Of5ce that the President never asked him to speak to Comey about the FBI
investigation. s Some ODNI staffers, however, had a different recollection of how Coats
described the meeting immediately atter it occurred. According to senior ODNI official Michael
Dempsey, Coats said atter the meeting that the President had brought up thc Russia investigation
and asked him to co'ntact C'omey to see if there was a way to get past the investigation, gct it over
with, end it, or words to that effect.sss Dempsey said that Coats described the President *s
comments as falling "somewhere between musing about hating the investigation" and wanting
Coats to "do something to stop it." De m psey said Coats made it clear that he would not get
involved with an ongoing FBI investigation.s" Edward Gistaro, another ODNI offtcia1, recalled

"' SC AD 00210 (Donaldson 3/21/17 Notes); McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 7; Donaldson 11/6/17
302, at 19.
McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 7; Burnham 11/03/17 302, at 11.
'+ Boente 1/31/18 302, at 3.

Coats 6/14/17 302, at 3; Culver 6/14/17 302, at 2.


"' Coats 6/14/17 30'2, at 3;
s Co~ts 6/14/17 302, at 3.
"r Pompeo 6/28/17 302, at 1-3.
' Coats 6/14/17 302, at 3.
~' Dempsey 6/14/17 302, at 2.
'4' Dempsey 6/14/17 302, at 2-3.

c Dempsey 6/14/17 302, at 3.

55
U.S. Department of Justice
//

that right after Coats's meeting with the President, on the walk from the Oval Office back to the
Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Coats said that the President had kept him behind to ask
him what he could do to "help with the investigation.*'~2 Another ODNI staffer who had been
waiting for Coats outside the Oval Office talked to Gistaro a few minutes later and recalled Gistaro
reporting that Coats was upset because the President had asked him to contact Comey to convince
him there was nothing to the Russia investigation.

On Saturday, March 25, 2017, three days atter the meeting in the Oval Once„ the President
called Coats and again complained about the Russia investigations, saying words to the effect of,
"I can't do anything with Russia, there's things I'd like to, do with Russia, with trade, with ISIS,
they' re all over me with this/a44 Coats told the President that the investigations were going to go
on and the best thing to do was to let them run their course.s4 Coats later testified in a
congressionalhearing that he had "never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way and
shape — with shaping intelligence in a political way, or in relationship . . . t o an ongoing
investigation.'

On March 26, 2017, the day atter the President called Coats, the President called NSA
Director Admiral Michael Rogers. 4 T h e President expressed frustrationwith the Russia
investigation, saying that it made relations with the Russians difficult.s s The president told
Rogers "the thing with the Russians [wa]s messing up" his ability to get things done with Russia.~'
The President also said that the news stories linking him with Russia were not true and asked
Rogers if he could do anything to refute the stories.see Deputy Director of the NSA Richard
Ledgett, who was present for the call„said it was the most unusual thing he had experienced in 40
years of government service. s' After the call concluded, Ledgett prepared a memorandum that
he and Rogers both signed docuiiMnting the content of the conversation and the President*s
request, and they placed the memorandum in a safe.sss But Rogers did not perceive the President's
request to be an order„and the President did not ask Rogers to push back on the Russia

'4' Gistaro 6/14/17 302, at 2.


"' Culver 6/14/17 302, at 2-3,
i44 Coats 6/14/17 302, at 4.
4' Coats 6/14/17 302, at 4; Dempsey 6/14/17 302, at 3 (Coats relayed that the President had asked
several times what Coats could do to help "get' [the investigation] done," and Coats bad repeatedly told the
President that fastest way to "get it done" was to let it run its course).
. ' ' Hearing on Eoretgn Intelligence Surveillance Bet Before the Senate Select Intelligence
Committee, 115 Cong. (June 7, 2017) (Cg Cong. Transcripts, at 25) (testimony by Daniel Coats, Director
of National Intelligence}.
4 n Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 3-4.
44 Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 4.
' ' Ledgett 6/1 3/l 7 302, at 1-2; see Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 4.
Rogers 6/12/1 7 302, at 4-5; Ledgett 6/13/17 302, at 2.
' ' Ledgett 6/13/17 302, at 2.
"4 Ledgett 6/13/17 302, at 2-3; Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 4.
U.S. Department of Justice
//

investigation itself sss Rogers later testified in a congressional hearing that as NSA Director he
had "never been directed to do anything [he] believe[d] to be illegal, immoral, unethical or
inappropriate*' and did "not recall ever feeling pressured to do so/os4

In addition to the specific comments made to Coats, Pompeo, and Rogers, the President
spoke on other occasions in the presence of intelligence community oAicials about the Russia
investigation and stated that it interfered with his ability to conduct foreign relations.'s' On at least
two occasions, the President began Presidential Daily Briefings by stating that there was no
collusion with Russia and he hoped a press statement to that effect could bc issued.'s Pompeo
recalled that the President vented about the investigation on multiple occasions, complaining that
there was no evidence against him and that nobody would publicly defend him.s 7 Rogers recalled
a private conversation with the President in which he "vent[ed]" about the investigation,, said he
had done nothing wrong, and said something like the "Russia thing has got to go away."'s' Coats
recalled the President bringing up the Russia investigation several times, and Coats said hc finally
told the President that Coats's job was to provide intelligenec and not get involved in
investigations.' '

4. The President Asks Come t o " L i l t t he C loud" Created b t h e R ussia


~l t' 6

On the morning of March 30, 2017, the President reached out to Comey directly about the
Russia invesngation. A c c ording to Comey's contemporaneous record of the conversation, the
President said "he was trying to run the country and the cloud of this Russia business was making

"' Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 5; Ledgett 6/13/17 302, at 2.


m4 Hearing on Foreign Intelligence Sttrveillance Aot Before the Senate Select Intelligence
Committee, 115 C ong. (June 7, 2017) (Cg Cong. Transcripts, at 20) (testimony by Admiral Michael
Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency).
' Gistam 6/14/17 302, at 1, 3; Pompeo 6/28/17 302, at 2-3.
s~ Gistaro 6/14/17 302„at 1.
' Pompeo 6/28/17 302, at 2.
mi Rogers 6/12/17 302, at 6.

Coats 6/14/17 302, at 3-4.


SCR012b 000044 (President* s Daily 13iary, 3/30/1 7, reflecting call to Camey from 8:14 - 8:24
a.m.); Comey 3/30/17 Memorandum, at 1 (" The President called me on my CMS phone at 8: 13 am today .
.. . The eall lasted 11 minutes (about 10 minutes when he was connected).'*; Hearing on Itttssian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 6).
U.S. Department of Justice
//

that difficult." m The President asked Comey what could be done to "lift the cloud." ss Comey
explained "that we were running it down as quickly as possible and that there would be great
benefit, if we didn't find anything, to our Good Housekeeping seal of approval, but we had to do
our work. ass Comey also told the President that congressional leaders were aware that the FBI
was not investigating thc President personally. 4 The President said several times, "We need to
get that fact out."sss The President commented that if there was "some satellite" (which Comey
took to mean an associate of the President's or the campaign) that did something, "it would be
good to find that out" but that he himself had not done anything wrong and he hoped Comey
"would find a way to get out that we weren't investigating him/ass After the, call ended, Comey
called Boente and told him about the conversation, asked for guidance on how to respond, and said
he was uncomfortable with direct contact Irom the president about the investigation. s

On the morning of April 11, 2017, the President called Camey again,sss According to
Comey's contemporaneous record of the conversation, the President said he was "following up to
see if [Comey] did what [the President] had asked last time — getting out that he personally is not
under investigation." s' Comey responded that he had passed the request to Boente but not heard
back, and he informed the President that the traditional channel for such a request would be to

s ' Comey 3/30/17 Memoraiidum, at 1. Comey subsequently testified before Congress about this
conversation and described it to our Office; his recollections were consistent with his memorandum.
Hearing on Russian Election Interfsi ence Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong.
(' June 8, 201 7) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey, former Director of the FBI, at 6); Comey
11/15/17 302, at 18.
" C omey 3/30/17 Memorandum, at I; Camey 11/15/17 302, at 18.
m' Comey 3/30/17 Memorandum, at I; Comey 11/15/17 302, at 18.
' 4 Comey 3/30/1 7 Memorandum, at I; Hearing on Russian Election Intevference Before the Senate
Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statemeni, for the Record of James B. Comey,
former Director of the FBI, at 6).
' Comey 3/30/17 Memorandum, at ]; Hearing on Russian Election Interference Before the Senate
Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for the Record of James B. Comey,
former Director of the FBI„at 6).
w Camey 3/30/I 7 Memorandum, at I; Hcanng an Russian Election Interference Before the Senate
Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement foi' the Record of James B. Comey,
former Director of the FBI, at 6-7).
' " Comey 3/30/17 Memorandum, at 2; Boente I/31/18 302, at 6-7; Hearing an Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Comm/tree, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, foimer Diiector of the FBI, at 7).
" SCR012b 000053 (President's Daily Diary, 4/11/17, reflecting call to Comey from 8:27 — 8:31
a.m.); Camey 4/11/17 Memorandum, at 1 ("I returned the president's call this morning at 8:26 am BDT.
We spake for about four minutes.").
' Comey 4/11/17 Memorandum, at 1. Comey subsequently testified before Congress about this
conversation and his recollections were consistent with his memo. He a ring on Russian Election
Interference Before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, 115th Cong. (June 8, 2017) (Statement for
the Record of James B. Comey, forme'r Director of the FBI, at 7).
U.S. Department of Justice
//

have thc White House Counsel contact DOJ leadership, ' T he President said he would take that
step."' The President then added, "Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that
thing, you know."sv In a televised interview that was taped early that aflemnoo, the President was
asked if it was too late for him to ask Comey to step down; the President responded, "No, it's not
too late, but you know, I have confidence in him. We' ll see what happens. You know, it's going
to be interesting.'o7s After the interview, Hicks told the President she thought the President's
comment about Comey should be removed from the broadcast of the interview, but the President
wanted to keep it in, which Hicks thought was unusual.

Later that day, the President told senior advisors, including McGahn and Priebus, that he
had reached out to Comey twice in recent weeks."s The President acknowledged that MrGahn
would not approve of the outreach to Corncy because McGahn had previously cautioned the
President that he should not talk to Comey directly to prevent any perception that the White House
was interfering with investigations.s T he President told McGahn that Comey had indicated the
FBI could make a public statement that the President was not under investigation if the Department
of Justice approved that action.'v A fler speaking with the President, McGahn followed up with
Boente to relay the President's understanding that the FBI could make a public announcement if
the Deparnnent of Justice cleared it.s M c Gahn recalled that Boente said Comey had told him
there was nothing obstructive about the calls from the President, but they made Comey
uncomfortable.sw According to McGahn, Bocnte responded that he did not want to issue a
statement about the President not being under investigation because of the potential political
ramifications and did not want to order Comey to do it because that action could prompt the

' s Camey 4/1 1/17 Memorandum, at l.


s ' Camey 4/1 1/17 Memorandum, at 1.
"s Comey 4/1 I/17 Memorandum, at 1. In a footnote to this statement in his memorandum, Comey
wrote, "His use of these words did not fit with the flow of the call, which at that point hsd moved away
from any request of me, but I have recorded it here as it happened."
' ' Maria Bartiromo, Interview with President Trump, Fox Business Network (Apr. 12, 2017);
SCR012b 000054 (President's Daily Diary, 4/11/1 7, reflecting Bartiromo interview Rom 12:30 - 12:55
p.m.).
' i Hicks 12/g/17 302, at 13.
"' Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 23; McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 9.
"' Priebus 10/13/17 302, at 231 McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 9; see McGahn 11/30/17 302, at 9;
Dhiflon 11/21/17 302, at 2 (stating that White House Counsel attorneys had advised the President not to
contact the FBI Director directly because it could orestes perception he was interfering with investigations').
Later in April, the President told other attorneys in the White House Counsel's Offlce that he had called
Comey even though he knew they had advised against direct contact. Dhillon 11/21/17 302, at 2 (recalling
that the President said, "I know you told me not to, but I called Comey anyway.').
'~7 McGalm 12/12/17 302, at 9.
' M cGahn 12/12/17 302, at 9.
McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 9; sea Boente 1/31/18 302, at 6 (recalling that Comey told him after
the March 30, 2017 call that it was not obstructive).
U.S. Deparlment of Justice
//

appointmcnt of a Special CounseL" B o ente did not recall that aspect of his conversation with
McGahn, but did recall telling McGahn that the direct outreaches from thc President to Camey
were a problem.ssi Boente recalled that McGahn agreed and said he would do what he could to
address that issue.s~

Aiiulysis

In analyzing the Pr'esident's reaction to Sessions's recusal and the requests hc. made. to
Coats, Pompeo, Rogers, and Comey, the following evidence is relevant to the elements of
obstruction of justice:

a, Obs t ructive act. T h e evidence shows that, aller Comey's March 20, 2017
testimony, the President repeatedly reached out to intelligence agency leaders to discuss the FBI's
investigation. But witnesses had different recollections of the precise content of those outreaches.
Some ODNI officials recalled that Coats told them immediately aller the March 22 Oval OI5ce
meeting that the President asked Coats to intervene with Comey and "stop" the investigation. But
the first-hand witnesses to the encounter remember the conversation differently. Pompeo had no
memory of the specific ineeting, but generally recalled the President urging officials to get the
word out that the President had not done anything wrong related to Russia. Coats recalled that the
President asked that Coats state publicly that no link existed between the President and Russia, but
did not ask him to speak with Camey or to help end the investigation. The other outreaches by the
President during this period were similar in nature. The Presiderit asked Rogers if he could do
anything to refute the stories linking the President to Russia, and the President asked Comey to
make a public statement that would "lift the cloud" of the ongoing investigation by making clear
that the President was not personally under investigation. These requests, while significant enough
that Rogers thought it important to document the encounter in a written memorandum, were not
interpreted by the officials who received them as directives to improperly interfere with the
investigation.

b. Nex us to a o ceedin . At the time of the President's outreaches to leaders of the


intelligence agencies in late March and early April 2017, the FBI's Russia investigation did not
yet involve grand jury proceedings. The outreaches, however, came after and were in response to
Camey's March 20, 2017 announcement that the FBI, as a part of its counterintelligence mission,
was conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Comey test'ified that the investigation included any links or coordination with Trump campaign
officials and would "include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."

c. Int ent, As described above, the evidence does not establish that the Prerddent asked
or directed intelligence agency leaders to stop or interfere with the FBI's Russia investigation-
*
and the President affirmatively told Comey that if "some satellite' was involved in Russian '
election interference "it would be good to find that out." But the President's intent in trying to
prevent Sessions's recusal, and in reaching out to Coats, Pompeo, Rogers, and Comey following

" McGshn 12/12/17 302, at 9-10.


"' Boente 1/31/18 302, at 7; McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 9,
isi Boente 1/31/18 302, at 7.
U.S. Deparlment of Justice
IJ

Comey *s public announcement. of the FBI's Russia investigation, is nevertheless relevant to


understanding what motivated the President's otheractions towards the investigation.

The evidence shows that the President was focused on the Russia investigation's
implications for his presidency — and, specifically, on dispelling any suggestion that hc was under
investigation or had links to Russia. In early March, thc President attempted to prevent Sessions's
recusal, even after being told that Sessions was following DOJ conflict-of-interest rules. After
Sessions recused, the White House Counsel's Office 0 icd to cut off further contact with Sessions
about the matter, although it is not clear whether that direction was conveyed to the President. The
President continued to raise the issue of Sessions's recusal and, when he had the opportunity, he
pulled Sessions aside and urged him to unrecuse. The President also told advisors that he wanted
an Attorney General who would protect him, the way he perceived Robert Kennedy and Eric
Holder to have protected thcii presidents. The Prcsi'dent made statements about being able to direct
the course of criminal investigations, saying words to the effect of, "You' re telling me that Bobby
and Jack didn't talk about investigational Or Obama didn't tell Eric Holder who to investigate'I"

Aller Comey publicly confirmed the existence of the FBI's Russia investigation on March
20, 2017, the President was "beside himself" and expressed anger that Comey did not issue a
statement correcting any misperception that the President himself was under investigation. The
President sought to speak with Acting Attorney General Bocnte directly and told McGahn to
contact Boente to request that Comey make a clarifying statement. The President then asked other
intelligence community leaders to make public statements to refute the suggestion that the
President had links to Russia, but the leaders told him they could not publicly comment on the
investigation. On March 30 and Apt il 11, against the advice of White House advisors who had
informed him that any direct contact with the FBI could be perceived as improper interference in
an ongoing investigation, the President inade personal outreaches to Comey asking him to "lift the
cloud" of the Russia investigation by making public the fact that the President was not personally
under investigation.

Evidence indicates that the President was angered by both the existence of the Russia
inves'tigation and the public reporting that he was under investigation, which he knew was not true
based on Comey's representations. The President complained to advisors thatif people thought
Russia helped him with the election, it would detract fiom what he had accomplished.

Other evidence indicates that the President was concerned about the impact of the Russia
investigation on his ability to govern. The President complained that the perception that he was
under investigation was hurting his ability to conduct foreign relations, particularly with Russia.
The President told Coats he "can*t do anything with Russia," he 'told Rogers that "the thing with
the Russians'* was interfering with his ability to conduct foreign affairs, and he told Comey that
"he was trying to run thc country and the cloud of this Russia business was inaking that difficult."
U.S. Department of Justice

D. Eve nts Leading Up To and Surrounding the Termination of FBI Bdrector


Comey

Overview

Comey was scheduled to testify before Congress on May 3, 2017. Leading up to that
testimony, the President continued to tell advisors that he wanted Comey to make public that the
President was not under investigation. At the hearing, Comey declined to answer questions about
the scope or subjects of the Russia investigation arid did not state publicly that the President was
not under investigation. Two days later, on May 5„2017, the President told close aides hc was
going to fire Comey, and on May 9, he did so, using his official termination letter to make public
that Co'mey had on three occasions informed the President that he was not under investigation.
The President decided to fire Comey before receiving advice or a recommendation from the
Department of Justices but he approved an initial public account of the termination that attributed
it to a recommendation from the Department of Justice based on Comey's handling of the Clinton
email investigation. Afier Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resisted attributing the firing
to his recommendation, the President acknowledged that hc intended to fire Comey regardless of
the DOJ recommendation and was thinking of the Russia investigation when he made the decision.
The President also told the Russian Foreign Minister, "I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was
crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off. .. . . V m not
under investigation."